GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Nothing was right. Mum rubbed at her neck and glanced up at the wall clock. She did it all during dinner. Lines creased my dad’s forehead ever since we sat to eat. He never frowned.
“So,” I said, “what will it be tonight?”
“Is it a Saturday?” Mum asked. Her lip twitched.
“Yes,” I replied and stared down at my empty plate, avoiding my reflection in the glass dining table. On the first Saturday of every month, all three of us sat in the lounge, watched a movie, and ate popcorn together. Mum exchanged a quick glance with my dad and I frowned a little. Even the lingering scents of saffron and garlic, though my favourite, emphasised how wrong everything was. They normally cooked a barbeque.
“I think we forgot to pick up a movie from the video store,” Dad said. “Sorry Aisling.” I suppressed my sigh and feigned a smile. Never had they forgotten before, not in the six years since the tradition started.
I dropped my knife and fork together on my plate with a loud clatter. Mum’s leaf green eyes darted in my direction and she exhaled heavily. She never startled that easily before. Even Dad shot me a quick glance.
“Can we play a board game instead?” I asked. Again, both of them exchanged looks. Their eyes looked haunted. My stomach contracted into a tight ball.
Mum gave a short nod. “Sure honey. Why don’t you go grab one and we’ll clear the table.”