I’ve decided to stop using a knife to end an argument.

First of all, it’s in poor taste, and I’m a changed woman. I believe it was King Solomon himself who suggested cutting a baby in half when confronted by two women suing for custody of the child. Ultimately the real mother was willing to give up maternal rights in order for her baby to live. I admit I wanted to experience the feeling of so great a sacrifice; to cut loose of my own ungrateful children.

But that damn dog! He had me running all over town. He pretended to be dead, and then he mocked me with his squealing, heathen laughter. Everyone thinks I went to the cupboard to fix him a sandwich or something, but it’s simply where I kept the old coffee can with about seventy-five dollars in cash. I spent it all on a coffin too. Well, all of it except for the quarters I used at the alehouse. All that shopping made me terribly thirsty.

And my kids; there’s no mention of them. I am a mother after all, and by the way, thirty-nine isn’t very old. Try telling that to your husband’s nineteen year-old secretary. She’s the real bitch in this tale.

My therapist has advised me to avoid flourishing my stories with absurd fanfare, but I bet he’s never seen a goat riding on the back of a Golden Retriever.

Honestly, after the alehouse, I spent maybe another ten dollars on wine, not including the tip. I was feeling pretty good when I stepped out of the dark tavern. The idea to murder my husband and his lover was an act of madness perpetuated by random happenstance and years of emotional abuse.

I only stopped in on the barber shop to purchase a wig when my eyes paused upon the straight razor resting on the worn leather chair. That’s when I thought, it’s such a perfect way to end a rather stressful afternoon.

Premeditation is too harsh a word. Suffice to say, that stupid dog ate his meat rare that day.

I offer no defense as for the current whereabouts of the children. Let the record show that they are not of my own biological birthing, although I did experience an uncharacteristic love for them. I am unfortunately barren, and they were my husband’s children from a previous marriage. Over the years my husband felt it necessary to present me with pets as substitute babies. I would advise you not to go digging around for answers in the moors behind our home.

As for the question presented, the dog was barking rather loudly for hours. The neighbors reported the noise violation to the local authorities, which subsequently, led to my ill-fated arrest. I did eventually get that filthy cur to cease his incessant whining.

And yes, I do find it most peculiar that no one has ever thought to ask me where I got the bone that shut him up once and for all.

"Old Mother Hubbard Goes
Before the Parole Board"
Copyright: © 2009 Angel Zapata
Angel Zapata was born in NYC, but currently resides just outside of Augusta, Georgia. His flash fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming on Morpheus Tales, Flashes in the Dark, The New Flesh, Twisted Tongue, The Absent Willow Review, House of Horror, and Flashshot. He is husband to his blond goddess and father of four boys obsessed with all things ninja. Visit his blog: http://arageofangel.blogspot.com


  1. Great one, Angel! You've presented the more realistic side to that old tale. Thank you for telling me how it really happened. I kinda like the old broad now. :)

  2. So that’s where she got them bones…poor poor Mother Hubbard who solved her problems the way King Solomon advised. It’s as if you transported the old tale and stuck her in our world. I sure hope she doesn’t reincarnate because of this you sick puppy.

    Grimm-ly done, Horror King. This goes on my Dark Angel Fav list.

  3. lol, nice work. First you break the RRgate crime. Now you bring us the truth behind Mother Hubbard. *Looks around to make sure no one is listening* Angel, I've heard a rumour that Humpty was pushed.

  4. Love this Angel, especially the line "That's when I thought, it's such a perfect way to end a rather stressful afternoon."
    Am off to tweet.

  5. a howler indeed. choice, grade A. Is nothing sacrded?

  6. Howl! Great idea, Angel, Grimmly executed. I'd love to hear your take on how that old woman came to live in a shoe, or just how on earth Hansel and Gretel's stepmother managed to convince their dad to leave them in the forest.

  7. I'm wondering no more. The voice in this piece is as sharp as the razor on the leather seat. Where in the world did people come up with this stuff...wait...I think I know.
    Fantastic piece.

  8. Nice angle Angel! Now you got people thinking about bringing out the dead, literature that is. Imagine the possibilities!

  9. Cool Angel - you make the tricky business of retelling an old tale look easy.

  10. Well, well, the truth finally comes out. So does this make the dog an accomplice, or an innocent victim of his diabolical owner? The things that go on in the mind of Angel. Excellent voice in this. It was hard not to smile through the wickedness.

    Now I wonder what really happened to Bo Peep's sheep.

  11. Angel,

    Loved it, loved it!! Wow, great story. Thank you once again for some kick ass entertainment!