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Latest Flash! Friday entry. “A nemesis” was the word prompt and the above picture also acted as a prompt. Nothing about 160 words.

“Fuck,” slipped out of my mouth and before I had the chance to reel it back in, mom’s wedding-fingered backhand collided with my seven-year-old lips.

I’d heard a kid on my bus say it. At the dinner table, I elbowed my glass of milk off the table by accident. Splatter. Fuck. Backhand.

Mom had her hand on my collar, face over the sink. Soap in mouth. The ocean breeze filled my gums and lathered my tongue. I coughed, spat, gagged. In my head: fuck fuck fuck.

Week later, mom came home. Dishes still in the sink. Under my breath: fuck. She heard. Backhand. Sink. Gag.

Then I’d say fuck because I liked the way it vibrated my lips. Because fuck the soap.

Tit-for-tat, I did “something” wrong.

Head in sink. No soap. She switched. Pants down. Ass out. Switch on flesh. “Fuck” is stuck in my throat, too heavy to heave out in defiance.

Nowadays, I missed the ocean breeze.

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