Momma’s Rules | by Paul Beckman

There are seven daughters but only six on display. Number 5 (we are not allowed to say the name of the missing—it’s not allowed), these are Momma’s rules and have been all her life—all ninety-two years.

I miss talking to Number 5—we are the closest in age and have always been best friends except for the time Momma took me down because she heard me say I liked Tanta Sadie’s recipe for stuffed cabbage better. “Raisins! Ptoo! Ptoo! Raisins!—Hungarians put raisins in their stuffed cabbage, not our people. When did you become Hungarian?”
That raisin episode lasted for over a month until I showed up on her doorstep with stuffed cabbage—her recipe and raisins were never spoken about again.

There’s been some whispering going around that since it’s Number 5’s turn to host the Passover Seder all will be okay but Momma has to say something. I’m not going to bring it up. Maybe I’ll play dumb and ask her what I can bring to her house for the Seder. She’s hard to outfox but I may get her on this one.
So I asked.
“So why are you asking me? Ask your sister Minnie, it’s her turn,” she said pointing to Minnie back on the wall. “I don’t know where you come up with this stuff. Do you do it to drive me crazy?” And as she asked she pointed at me on the wall.



Paul Beckman has four story collections, a novella published and a new collection, “Kiss Kiss” due out in early 2018. He’s had over 400 of his stories published in print, on line, and via audio. Paul’s from CT and runs the monthly FBomb NY flash fiction reading series at KGB. He had a micro story selected for the 2018 Norton Microfiction Anthology and was one of the winners in the 2016 Best of Small Fictions. He’s had his work published in Red Fez, Necessary Fiction, Spelk, Connotation Press, Jellyfish Review and many more fine magazines.

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