by Derville Quigley
We’re at the tire place. The men are arms hanging out of doors. Legs sprawled from engines, heads under hoods. My father has a list on the back of an envelope. Needs a spare for his Green Goddess. A man he went to school with hands over a tire, but not without noticing the rash on my father’s forehead.
“Looks itchy. Would ye ever think of getting the cure?” he asks.
“Oh I’ve been to the doc, and I have the cream.”
“Mrs. Bradley has the cure for that kind of thing.” The man writes her number on the envelope.
Mrs. Bradley looks my dad straight in the eye, then spits in his face. On his forehead. Tells him to stop using cream, water or anything else. Rubs it in with her thumbs. Says it will be gone in three days.
The phone in the hall rings. Mrs. Bradley wants to know if it’s gone. It’s gone.
Derville Quigley (she/her) is an Irish writer based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her short stories and poems have been published in various international magazines and journals, including The Ogham Stone, Beyond Words, Trasna, CommuterLit, and Litro. She is a co-founder of Strange Birds, a writing collective. Twitter @dervillequigley | www.dervillequigley.net