Issue #80

Fall 2021

Sibling Rivalry

by Tim Goldstone

In the shed we found a musty unopened cardboard box of grass seed that we sprinkled over our parched brown garden and within minutes it had grown a lawn that was green washed out nearly to yellow with an early 1950s father with veins he always said he got from the war wrapped around his forearms pushing a manual lawnmower in straight lines up and down wearing baggy brown high-waisted corduroy trousers with turn-ups and braces over a billowing loose-fitting white shirt tucked in with sleeves rolled up as far as modest biceps and a pipe dangling casually from the side of his mouth while the smiling mother sits in the shade in a faded orange and grey striped canvas wood-framed deck-chair smoking a filtered cigarette from a pretty pink packet with a baby on her lap while two young children splash delightedly in a small round mouth-inflated paddling pool in matching hooped bathing costumes the boy's blue the girl's pink their dog Scamp joining in the fun and games until my sister and I having no fondness for rival siblings from previous eras finally set a match to the scene and watched the edges blacken and curl and smoke but it was slow and kept going out and we lost interest wandering off before the flames came.

Author Bio

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Tim Goldstone has roamed widely, including throughout the UK, Western and Eastern Europe, and North Africa, and currently lives in Wales. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies including The Offing, Hypnopomp, Déraciné, Veil: Journal of Darker Musings, Altered States, Madness Muse Press, The Mambo Academy of Kitty Wang, 11 Mag Berlin. Prose sequence read on stage at The Hay Festival. Loiters in Twitter @muddygold