Dad still tends to his flowerbeds with the care and attention he puts into his chess, Mom gone all these years. His sunflowers, glowing faces, absorb the fading sun.
My visit will surprise him. I wander through his quiet Saturday night kitchen. Remnants of Istrian Yoda, his Zagreb childhood’s favourite stew, smoky and sauerkraut-fragrant, in his one big lonely pot.
A special occasion that he’s celebrating? Sunflower flaming orange in a vase on his table set for two. Disarray, napkins tossed aside. Poppy seed rolls, slices plump and moist, untouched. Coffee cups, one with dregs of his sharp, dark coffee, its edge alight with lipstick vibrantly red. Another guest I must meet.
“Dad?” I follow his mumbling and pass his open bedroom door. “Dad!” I gasp.
My old father, his tanned and wrinkled face kisses the woman’s wilted-flower breasts.
“Ranko,” she whispers, holding him close and tender as though his body is delicate and rare.
This story first appeared at Love in the Time of Covid.
Fran Turner grew up on a farm in the southernmost part of Canada, but Toronto, where she's lived most of her life, is the place that's home. She was a nurse, a shiatsu therapist, and worked on cancer programs. For decades her heart was on the Aikido mat, training and teaching at her own dojo. Now she enjoys working on flash fiction. She’s had stories published in The Ekphrastic Review, Dodging the Rain, and Adelaide Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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