Short Story: “Lament of a Lost Daughter” Part 2

Isabella McCall, Columnist •

At dark times, it’d been a difficult relationship between my mother and I. Mother comparing child, eventually woman comparing woman. Each comparison was voiced in an argument rather than a suggestion. During my naive youth, I thought the fault of these arguments laid purely on my mother, but with age and more fights came the guilty knowledge that I too was at fault.

Emotions in any human relationship are complex, but between a mother and her daughter comes a special set that all the different emotions translated across all Earthly languages could not respectfully describe. Trying to do so would take all a mind’s concentration and dedication. Some authors could tactfully describe the relationship they kept, but theirs would always differ from the mother and daughter next door, down the street, in the neighboring city.

My own relationship with my mother was a riverbed. Water flowing–being joyous and happy–then the droughts, harsh and cruel. All I had ever known was my mother. She was in every cultural sense, my best friend.

…Quickly I averted my thoughts to the icy fish in my hands, my solution to dam the floods threatening to pour forth from my eyes.

Focus. Scrape neatly. Make a game out of it. Try to keep the scales from flicking in the air. Do anything, just don’t cry.

The phrase branded across my psyche, painted on my inner voice. Do anything, just don’t cry.

This was the monotony of my days here. Waking up in a small cabin, kayaking to the main part of Sitka, working all day to scrape the scales off of the locally caught salmon so they could be processed into small cans that would eventually be made into salmon patties with slightly burnt pea and milk sauce by a mother who tried to provide their child with a healthy dinner. Finally finishing the days by going back to the cabin and isolating myself to a chair on the porch, watching sea otters paddle through the water as they formed their nightly cluster as night began to fall over the cove.

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