I woke to monstrous sounds that shook me from my dreams. 

Groggy, I rubbed my eyes and glanced at the clock. I blinked until the green lines came into focus from the bedside table. 

2:12 AM. 

The hammering continued, and I sighed as I pulled myself to my feet. My head ached. I grabbed my robe from the foot of my bed and put it on as I pulled open the door. 

Light blinded my eyes. My mother had turned on all of the lights in the house. She was standing unsteadily on the sofa with a picture frame in each hand. She turned her head and nodded at me, mumbling hello between lips clenching long silver nails. She set down the picture frames and took a nail from her mouth. She squinted her eyes, lining it up, and started hammering. The bangs rang around the room. I cringed with memory. 

“Mom,” I choked out. “What are you doing?”

Continue reading this short story by Aimee Hardy that was published in Las Positas’ Havik 2020: Homeward. Read more…

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