Sweetened Ash.   by Suzanne Nielsen

Ribon Wheeler sucked on lilacs blooms while her mother blew smoke rings toward the ceiling fan. This summer wouldn’t stray from ordinary routine; Ribon would live with her father and strategize how to kill her mother without laying a hand on her. “You’re taking your life in your hands living with that prick,” her mother said. “Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, you’re a freak,” Ribon whispered in her mother’s ear, then tossed the stalk of lilac blooms at the fan. The blades tore through the pedals leaving the kitchen air heavily sweet with a touch of ash.