Author: Petteri Paksuniemi

Oedipus Cleverclogs

Issue 3/1997 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

 A short story from Ammattimies (‘The professional’, Tammi, 1997)

I had just pounded the life out of a couple of Germans when mother appeared at the door of my room, her blonde hair in a bun, in her white nightdress, through which I could clearly see the outline of her figure. She looked at me a little pityingly and suggested that we should go out for a meal at the weekend, just the two of us. I nodded and went back to concentrating on my acts of heroism.

And mother did not break her promise. Although she did not earn much as the junior cook at the children’s home, that did not stop us eating out. She took me to a good restaurant that was right on the harbour, in the shadow of the old steamships. The night before, she had ironed my only white shirt and hung it on a hanger with my terylene trousers. My mother had dressed me in the same outfit on my first day at school. I was decidedly over-dressed that day, but I put a good face on it. Mother’s men must always look their best. More…