May the 4th Be with You!

It’s May 4th.  The day before Cinco de Mayo.  Nine days before Mother’s Day and about a week past when I usually send out my newsletter.  I have a good reason for being late though. I’ve been submitting original works to various magazine and online publishing sources to fund the editing of my finished manuscript!  It’s expensive to get content editors to read your work.  About $0.07 per word.  At 80,000 words, that’s $6K!  Woo!  So, my fingers have been busy typing, while my brain fires off short stories.  Some days I’m completely exhausted and can’t even speak.  Being caught up in one’s head all day is not always a safe place to be!


I don’t know how you all feel about Mother’s Day or any of the Hallmark holidays as their called.  Personally, I don’t think there needs to be a day dedicated to expressing gratitude.  Being grateful should be a daily, if not even more frequent practice.  Having a day specifically for a group of people, I find, leads to empty platitudes and expectations that usually fall short for the recipient of said holiday. And that’s where the idea of this Flash Fiction story started.  It’s May, so the major holidays are Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.  The latter is always a heavy subject, and thus couldn’t be sufficiently covered in a Flash Fic story, whose criteria is to remain under 1000 words.  That narrowed it down to Mothers.

Safe Haven Laws

During my brainstorming, I came across a sign for a newborn Safe Haven, a concept created sometime in the mid-eighties but not enacted as a law in most states until the late 90’s or into the 21st century. It made me wonder about people who surrender their children to these places, but more interesting to me was, what happens to the children as they become wards of State?


Further conjecture as to what qualifies or defines one as a mother and the types of mothers that exists, or that we have labels for, fascinates me.  This story is Literary Fiction, following a single character through a brief moment in their life.  It touches on some dark, and perhaps controversial subject matters, but nothing too deep to offend, hopefully.

As mentioned, this is Flash Fiction, so it is less than 1000 words.

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day.

Mothers, motherhood, would-be mothers, want-to-be mothers, reluctant mothers, resentful mothers, clueless mothers, helicopter mothers, abusive mothers, birth mothers, adoptive mothers, motherland, motherboard, motherlode, motherfuckers.

It’s nine days before Mother’s Day. Just the word mother has me wrapped up tighter than a spring.

I have no clue what to get my mother. Not that I actually have one. No one to fret over what to get for birthing me, raising me to be the fine upstanding citizen I am, for holding me tight when I was scared, or my hair back when I was sick, or reassuring me when all the kids made fun of me for not having a family.

“Who doesn’t have a family?” I’ve heard more than once.

“You must have been a terrible baby for no one to want you,” others would say.

My favorite one though was always, “You were a mistake, given away like trash.”

I wasn’t thrown out. Not in the literal sense. At least that’s what I learned when I was twelve and tracked down the social worker who originally got me into the system.

I was only hours old, when a man dressed in an Obi-Wan Kenobi outfit waltzed into an emergent care facility, one of those Safe-Haven drop-off points, and handed me over to the desk girl. He said something cheeky to her, supposedly about her facial piercings complementing her aura, brushed the top of my head, imparting what any Jedi Knight would say as he left a Padawan behind, “May the force always be with you.”

I couldn’t make this shit up! This is the story I got. Not just from the social worker, but eventually from the desk girl herself, who had moved on to become a Stay-at-Home mom, who homeschooled her kids, after meeting her husband at that same facility. When I met her, she still had her nose pierced, but nothing how I had pictured her after hearing the initial version of the story.

After my safe deposit, I was examined and cooed over by all the staff doctors and nurses, and immediately turned over to a foster family who kept me for the first year. Once I began to walk and talk, that mom apparently passed me off to another, and it seemed that at each major milestone, I was passed along until at the ripe age of 16, I won emancipation for myself.

I am gifted with technical know-how and have a keen eye for design, so I scored a job at a local printer’s shop, doing graphic design and managing the computer network every day after school and the weekends. I stayed at a local shelter for homeless teens, saving my money for a car and some clothes that weren’t purchased at a thrift store. When I graduated, I was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship at a state university.

Now, here I sit, the owner of a small ad agency for online entrepreneurs, earning a very comfortable living, fantasizing what to get the mother I never knew and who will never know me.

I say that with conviction. I’m not angry. Quite the contrary. I can’t imagine the desperation and fear that it would take to drop your baby off at some random facility, trusting that the kid will make their way in the world and not become a fucking psychopath. I have compassion for this woman. Compassion and understanding. For one, if I was impregnated by a person who liked to walk around in full on Obi-Wan gear, I’d think twice about what kind of environment my kid would grow up in too. For another, it takes self-awareness to know you don’t have the capacity to be a parent. It’s one thing to go through a pregnancy and grow the child inside of you. Quite another altogether, to stick around for at least 18 years and again, try to make sure the kid doesn’t turn out to be a mass murderer.

Which is why, as I glance out at the lobby’s TV screen to catch a few moments of Ina Gartner preparing some lovely Italian feast, I know I will never become a mother myself. I might have the capacity to stick around for 18 or even 25 years, but I don’t know the first thing about nurturing or love. Emotions and attachments are just not my thing. Sex is something I enjoy immensely, but not any part of a mating ritual.

And so, another year passes. I push away thoughts of longing and abandonment, while everyone around me stresses about what special thing to do for their mother.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mother.

Well? What’dya think?  Leave me your thoughts below.  And as always, your comment could win you a $5 Amazon GC and my way of saying thanks for your support!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers!

— KT

© K.T. George 2018 | This post was first seen on


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Short Story Series: Story 8 – Mother’s Day
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4 thoughts on “Short Story Series: Story 8 – Mother’s Day

  • May 7, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Wow. This was not what I expected. But I liked it a lot!

  • May 30, 2018 at 8:04 am

    I’ve seen those signs too and it always makes me wonder about the mother. This was a great short story, yet I want to know more about the characters!

  • May 13, 2024 at 8:41 am

    Whoa. This was dark but thought-provoking, especially in 2024, when all the laws have changed. I wonder how much more of this stuff we’ll see.

  • May 13, 2024 at 8:44 am

    It breaks my heart to think about how many children grow up like this. I don’t think too many wind up in such lucky circumstances as being able to turn things around and be successful. Thanks for bumming me out on Mother’s Day!


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