(First published NZ Flash Fiction anthology 2020)
My name? Pavlova. Stupid eh? Mum said it’s cos I was made from beaten eggs and toxic sugar, hidden under peaches and cream. Grandma says it’s cos Mum dreamt of pavlova while she was under the knife having me.
Mums other kids have boring names, like Tom, Dick and Harry. Grandma laughs that it’s cos of who their fathers were, but I don’t get the joke. At school, the other kids call me pav for short, which is cool. My boyfriend, he calls me luv, like a lover but without the er bit; that stuff we can’t talk about. Mum wouldn’t tell me about the er bit, so I asked my teacher. She gave me a book. The pictures were gross. Why would I let a boy touch me with his wee thingy? My boyfriend and me, we go hunting rabbits instead. Then we have rabbit stew. If Grandma’s in a good mood, we have pavlova after; the nice kind, with fresh eggs, sweet sugar, lots of cream, and bright orange peaches from our tree. That’s the best.
One day Mum’s coming home and she will like pavlova too. She’s in clink. It wasn’t even her fault. My Dad came back. He wanted the er bit, so she shot him, like a rabbit. Grandma says that’s fitting, ‘cos they’d already had a shotgun wedding.
I promised my boyfriend not to shoot him, because he doesn’t want the er bit.
My name is Pavlova, but you best call me Pav.