By Margaret Irish
‘Do you have anything to say before the court sentences you?’
The laugh erupts before I can stop it.
Now-I can talk?
Just before I’m deported to Jamaica for stealing an iPhone?
After my mother had testi-lied: Your Honour, I can’t control Patrick. I have a business to run?
The same mother who ran away after my birth to become a respectable Antiguan citizen?
Listen: the day before my first CXC exam at Jamaica College I came home to a strange woman cursing my Granny Pearl-My one-son not going no gay art school! Next morning I’m standing outside Wadadli Academy with a basket, selling food to students calling me ‘foreigner.’
I needed money for a one-way ticket back to Granny Pearl, ten CXCs, art school- sanity. All I had to do was murder 16 years of my granny’s preaching, then pinch Harry Jarvis’s phone from his pocket while he was contemplating fungi or meatball.
I feel the spectators behind me panting, drooling, so I continue cackling.
‘You are wasting our time! Do you have anything to say?’
On the plane, I try re-assembling my mind. One piece murmurs, kiss Granny Pearl goodbye; another piece prods, get a gun….
Margaret Irish is the overall winner of the Wadadli Pen 2015 Flash Fiction Challenge. She was winner, in 2014, of the Lead by Example Teachers Prize and subsequently participated in the CODE sponsored writing workshop facilitated by Joanne C. Hillhouse. Irish says her writings analyze her life experiences to live a more purposeful future; she also writes about the impact of parental migration on children.
Photos courtesy the Best of Books.
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