Momma Won’t Stay Dead

📅 Published on August 29, 2020

“Momma Won't Stay Dead”

Written by Dimitri Villegas
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 9.96/10. From 23 votes.
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My sister didn’t come to the funeral. And I honestly didn’t blame her one bit.

There towards the end of Mom’s life, things had gotten unbearably rough. I took a semester off of college to stay home and help Dad out during Mom’s last few months, finding myself stuck in the hometown that I mostly tried to avoid visiting during the school year. It had felt too much like a ghost town and held too many secrets that I’d rather just leave dead and buried.

It was just this past summer that we had realized something was wrong with Mom. You see, she was a singer. She wouldn’t allow a single moment of silence in the house without filling it with some kind of song. Hell, some of my earliest memories is her standing at the kitchen sink, singing that damned musical song, “Mama Mia, here I go again, my my, how can I resist you?”

I had been home for summer break, doing my best to avoid going into town, doing my best to avoid seeing any of those old faces. It was morning, and Mom was in the kitchen, cooking pancakes while I waited at the kitchen table, reading a book. She had been singing that damned song again, but she had stopped.

“Mama Mia, here I go again, hi hi… Hi hi, no.”

It didn’t even register with me at first. I had been buried nose deep in some book that had been assigned for the next semester, trying my best to get ahead of the curve.

“Hi hi, there I go again. No, bye bye.”

I didn’t realize something was wrong until I smelled the pancakes burning. Just like the batter, the memory burns, getting up and seeing my mother standing there at the stove, face twisted in confusion, staring down at the pancakes.

“Hi hi, bye bye. Mama Mia.”

My Dad and I thought it had been a stroke. We rushed her to the hospital and after hours of waiting around and having several tests done, we were given the horrible news that Mom had early onset dementia.

The Mother I knew was slowly becoming lost in her own mind. Deteriorating.

It had been strange for me. Mom had always been the one to know how to take care of the cuts, bruises, the scraped knees of my childhood, but how could I help her with this?

During the early days, my sister had been there. It was the easy days. Mom still had a few clear moments. Moments where she would sing and get most of the words right. It was always hard during those days, because it would always give you that feeling that maybe she would be able to make it back. Make it back out of that haze.

Mom got to the point where she couldn’t sleep, or at least she couldn’t sleep at regular hours. So at night, we would take her to her bedroom and turn the television on for her. Dad had gone to what was probably the last Radio Shack in America and bought some radios; one for Mom, one for me and him, and one for my sister. Mom’s had the talk button taped down, so if anything did come up, we would hear it and come to help. My Dad and I slept in the living room with our radio, and my sister slept her in bedroom with the other.

Most nights, the only sounds coming through the bedroom radio would be Mom just muttering, sometimes singing lightly, “Mama Mia, hi hi.”

My sister left the night we were all woken up by Mom’s screams through the radios. We had turned on all the lights in the house and surrounded my Mom, with consoling words, telling her that it was going to be alright, that it was just a bad dream, that everything was going to be fine.

And my Mom grabbed hold of my sister’s arm and through a sobbing fit said “It’s taking everything from me.”

My sister yanked her arm from my mother’s grip. You could see a white outline on her forearm where my Mom’s hand had been. She had her things packed the very next morning.

I was furious. How could she leave just me and Dad? How could she leave Mom? I yelled and followed her all the way out to the car, where she opened the door and told me, “Her hand was so cold.”

Things got exponentially worse from there. Mom couldn’t do any simple tasks on her own, like eating or going to the bathroom. It hadn’t been much longer when she started forgetting who me and my Dad were, but you just had to get through days like that. You just had to. Had to for Mom.

There were moments where she still tried to sing, towards the end, but she kept saying that it was taking her words. Taking her words away from her. Taking her words, because it wanted them for itself.

I thought she was just talking about the dementia. But after she passed, I realized that it had been something else.

The house was quiet the day after the funeral. It was just me and Dad and the fifty pounds of food that family and neighbors had gifted us.

“The fuck are we gonna do with all this?” my Dad had said.

I didn’t know. I didn’t have the answers anymore. I was fresh out.

We mostly stayed in the living room because it was still just too painful to be anywhere else in the house. Mom had been a decorator, and her touch had been laid everywhere. So Dad and I stayed in the living room, eating cobbler and watching TV with the volume low and mostly in silence. We had the radio still sitting there on the end table.

I woke up sometime in the middle of the night with a bad cramp in my neck from having fallen asleep sitting upright on the couch. I was disoriented, not knowing when exactly I had fallen asleep and having only the light from the television to see where I was.

After some of my night vision started coming to me, I looked over and saw my Dad on the couch. He seemed to be sitting upright on the couch, and I couldn’t tell if his eyes were open or closed. I sat in the darkness, staring at his face, waiting for a moment that the television would flash some bright light so I could see if he had been awake, and once it did, I saw that his eyes were open.

I said at normal volume, “Dad?”

And his head turned quickly to me, and he raised an index finger to his lips. He didn’t make the sound, but I knew what he was wanting to make, Shhhh.

Confused, I looked back to the television, and saw that my Dad was lowering the volume. Once the volume was almost muted, I had heard what he must’ve heard.

Looking at the radio on the end table, you could see it light up, picking up some kind of noise from Mother’s bedroom. I couldn’t hear anything, but together, my Dad and sat there in the living room illuminated only by occasional flashes of light from the television, staring at the radio picking up some kind of feedback.

I thought that’s all it was, just some kind of static, nothing at all, and I was almost about to get up and turn it off, when I heard what my Dad must’ve heard.

Mama Mia, bye bye, Mama Mia, bye bye. Bye bye. Bye bye.

It was so light. I had almost thought that I was imagining it at first, but when I looked to my Dad, and saw that grave look on his face, I had known that he had heard it too.

He got up, and started making his way out of the living room, down the hallway to where Mom’s bedroom was. I couldn’t believe it. I just wanted to get up and leave. Go back to college, go back to my life before Mom had started getting sick.

I felt myself getting up off the couch too, feeling like I was still inside some kind of dream.

I followed my Dad out of the living room and into the hallway lined with photos of our family, all happy, all smiles, lovely eyes all around, lovely eyes watching me and my Dad inch slowly towards the closed bedroom door. You could hear it, there in the hallway, could hear the muttering, “Mama Mia, Mama Mia, bye bye.”

My Dad put a hand on the doorknob, twisted, and pushed open, with me right behind him.

And we saw her, dancing around in the moonlight. She had stripped off the dress she had been buried in and had tossed it in the corner of the bedroom. It was covered in dirt and grime. She had put on one of her nightgowns, and was twirling around the bedroom, lightly singing, “Mama Mia, bye bye.”

My Dad stepped into the bedroom and was just about to say “Hon”, and it all happened so quick from there.

It had stopped singing, stopped dancing, and it had turned on its heels in such an unnatural way, facing Dad and me, its eyes not pointing in the same direction as one or the other, and it was on my Dad, tackling him to the ground. His shoulder collided with my face, busting my lip and knocking me down to.

Dizzied, I got up on my elbows and saw what looked like my Mom on top of my Dad, her hands wrapped around his throat. He was clawing at her face, trying to get her off of him, I saw his thumb hook one of her nostrils and the other plunge into one of her eye sockets. I could hear him gurgling as the thing choked the life from him, and I could see him looking up at me from the ground.

I got up, and I punted the thing that looked my Mom right in her nose. I felt her nose cave in and heard the crunch. It felt like I had stubbed my toes on an end table, but she was off of him.

The thing that looked like my Mom landed sprawled on her back in the bedroom.

I limped over to my Dad, and got him up off of the ground. I wanted to just take him and get the hell out of the house, but he wanted to see what it was that had snatched my Mother’s skin.

We walked back into the bedroom and saw it, laying there. The skin bubble and the bones underneath crumbled, and it fizzled and popped. It made me sick to my stomach, but I couldn’t stop watching. It fizzled like spilled soda right into carpet, and it was gone.

My Dad and I packed small suitcases, grabbed a few platters of food from the kitchen, and we got a hotel room down the street. We didn’t sleep the rest of the night, instead we just laid in our twin beds, watching infomercials on the television. We didn’t say a word to each other until the sun came up, and even then, it was just to as for the television remote.

Dad showered, and I tried to stomach some of the leftovers, but couldn’t manage. I thought about calling my sister, but thought against it. What was she doing to do?

Somewhere around 2 p.m. today, I had fallen asleep. I woke up about an hour ago, to find my Dad sitting at one of the small tables in the hotel room. The hotel blinds were drawn, but I knew it was late at night.

He had brought the radio with him, and she was singing again.

“Mama Mia, bye bye, bye bye, bye bye.”

He wants to go back. I don’t want to, but I can’t let him go back alone.

It’s been singing for the past hour. It is like it is taunting us.

Rating: 9.96/10. From 23 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Dimitri Villegas
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Dimitri Villegas

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

More Stories from Author Dimitri Villegas:

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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zenna mills
zenna mills
1 year ago

wow litterally no one comments

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