Waiting For The Angels
by Luke Kokoszka
When Brother ascended Mama stopped being the Mama we knew her to be. I seen it first. We rode our bikes down the street from our house when his bum slowly lifted off the seat. The bike kept cruising without him on it before it spun out and crashed into the sidewalk. I stopped too. I’d never seen nothing of those likes. When Mama took us to church every Sunday the boring man would yell about Jesus and sometimes tell us how he resurrected. So that’s what I told Mama when I got home. I says to her I says, Mama, Brother done a resurrection. Shut your stupid noodle, she says. So I did, right. Ain’t nothing else to say.
Brother never wanted to tell me about it. I ask him the questions and he brush me off. He pretend like it don’t happen. I seen it three times before Mama seen it. First on the bike. Second in the soccer field behind the school, where Jimmy Dean seen it too. He won’t talk about it and his old man won’t let him play with us no more. The third time I woke up to have a pee in the middle of the night. And there I saw him, breathing into the ceiling, flat as a board, fast asleep. We was sharing a room then but we don’t no more. Mama never told me where he went.
Now when Mama seen it with her own two eyes she done gone acting all strange just like Brother before he disappear. Her eyes looked about to pop outa her head. Mama, Mama, see, look, Mama! Brother is doing the resurrection! I tells her at the table where we ate. The man who makes us play in the yard when he comes over was eating with us too. He leap off his seat and none of us never seen him again. Mama sat in her seat with her mouth gaping. I told you so, I says to her. Brother was moving slowly up into the air. I knew the ceiling of the home would stop him but I wanted him to keep going up, far into the clouds and report back to me what all he seen when he come down. Get up, Mama tells me, and go to your room. When I try to argue she grabs my ear and yanks me towards my bedroom.
Some strange looking peoples were showing up for the week following. Long hairs were burning some smelly green stick. I overheard a fat woman in glasses tell Mama spirits lived here. The man from church didn’t come though and he told Mama we weren’t welcome no more. That’s when we stopped leaving the house. Mama wouldn’t go outside and I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike down the street no more. Sometimes people would drive by and throw rocks at the windows and Mama would cry into her sweater. I was hungry but Mama wouldn’t buy us food. I wanted Brother back. I told Mama that and she locked me in my bedroom for three days. I spent the time laying on Brothers bed. I tried really hard to breathe into the ceiling. I tried to lift myself just a little. But I wasn’t my brother. Brother was better than me. That’s why Mama gave him up. She gave him to a better place. Somewhere with food. Somewhere with the angels just like him.
When Mama finally opened the door she looked like someone who wasn’t Mama. I tried to understand what she was saying. And that was the last time I seen Mama too, her eyes dark and puffy, her hair a mess. Nothing made sense. Then she left. She walked out the front door and left me in the house. I waited for her to come back. When she didn’t, I grabbed my bike and started riding, waiting for the angels to take me too.
Luke Kokoszka lives in New Westminster, British Columbia, with his cat, Mr B. His fiction has appeared at The Fanzine, Queen Mob’s, carte blanche, Cheap Pop, and elsewhere. He is a prose reader at UBC’s PRISM International.
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