The Sky Was Electric Blue


April 17, 2017 by The Citron Review

by Siobhan Welch


The woman smiles at her baby through the rearview mirror when the car ahead of her swerves and the space opens up between them, wide as a life, then the tiny, moving child. She slams on her brakes, but time stretches out, long like labor pains, as tire makes contact with trike and pushes it forward, a flash of white and grey and blonde and metal.

The sky is electric blue. She will remember this, the sort of day you could fly kites on she’ll say later, only she had rushed to the store instead, to pick up spaghetti for dinner, an afterthought. People flock to the intersection as her car slides still, their heads turned toward her, blurred in horror. Her baby cries from the back. The clock reads 3:37. Cans of tomato sauce roll underneath her seat.

After the wreck, the woman doesn’t know whether to check on the child and leave her baby, or stay with her baby and abandon the child who has been swarmed by the other mothers and fathers. She imagines the child’s parents mourning, her baby taken far away, handcuffs, concrete and metal bars, men with badges. Firemen appear, yellow EMS trucks, a stretcher. Someone asks if she’s okay, then to see her ID. I’m a mother she says, as if this might change anything.

Her limbs move slowly, senseless. She reaches for her phone to text her husband, fingers fumbling, and sends a photo by mistake, one she snapped earlier that day of the baby eating peas and smiling, a lifetime ago, the word “accident’ following it now inexplicable.

She’s been to this place before, once in her twenties on a dark overpass when she hit a patch of ice that sent her car spinning, and another time more recent, while her husband was sleeping, amid the cool white tile and porcelain, a piece of her lost in tears and blood and tissue. She unsnaps her son from the carseat, takes him in her arms to wait for what will happen next. She listens to his breath, the sound of her heart beating while she asks herself again and again and again and again: what else could she have done?


Siobhan Welch lives in Austin, Texas. Her short – and very short – fiction appears or is forthcoming in Split Lip, Devil’s Lake, Hobart, CHEAP POP, Jellyfish Review, and elsewhere.


One thought on “The Sky Was Electric Blue

  1. […] Became of Marie Taglioni?” at Cheap Pop,  “The Coming” at Hobart, and “The Sky Was Electric Blue” and “Kendrick Court, July 1983” at Citron […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
5 months to go.

🍋 Instagram

Robert Carr’s “Anchor” is what happens when the tangible aspects of heritage are missing. The speaker is left holding a telephone cord and the remnants of his mother’s voice getting further away. A concise stack of images begin the poem, taking us back to a time when the simplicity of toys meant family. In Carr’s hands, the poem is rooted and rootless at the same time, and now I reflect on the rotary phone, heirlooms from old houses, and my people. -Eric Steineger Managing Editor/Senior #amreading #TheCitronReview #Spring2019Issue #10thanniversary #cheersto10years
The Center, if it holds, requires the Hole, as if the Spiral were pressed in a vinyl disk. Set the heart of Nothing on the spindle and start the record round; "Record" by James B. Nicola #TheCitronReview #Spring2019 #amreading
Marriage! That blessed arrangement! #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Now in our Spring Issue, Helen Chambers invites us to read now of forever hold our peace. #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Knitters of the world, unite! "Turtles" is a needle-gripping flash from @kaelyhorton . March with us toward passionate prose. (Stitching now our handmade Spring 2019 Issue.) #amreading #flashfiction
Tornado of Flash Fiction Warning! #amreading #Spring2019 #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: