Cerebral Atrophy

They came in a pack of four. The wolves from the Justice Department descended on my father once the disease became too advanced to conceal. Sometimes he recognized them for the enemy they were but there were instances when he thought they were old acquaintances and he wanted to reminisce about incidents that they had…

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Pigs

After I dropped out of university I spent some time working on my uncle’s farm. My uncle was called Frank and wasn’t much to look at, the whiskey had done that to him, whiskey and heartache. He was getting on now so I chopped wood for the fire and made dinner as best as I…

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Rains Came Too Late

The fire gnawed the grasslands to bone-cracked earth on the way to our village. We hoped the lake would save us, the buckets of life we hauled from the shore, the trenches of dirt we overturned, the drenched rooftops. We saw it writhing across the plane, rivers of light beneath rainless billows, bound for our…

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What You Do In the Dark

He had only caught you a few times, sneaking up from behind, each step as stealth as a tiptoeing cat, shattering the silence with a WHAT ARE YOU DOING that booms in your brain but, in reality, is barely above what school teachers call your “inside voice.” You do not answer and he does not…

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The Quiltmaker

It took her years, but she made a memory quilt the size of their home. At first, she used her husband’s worn work clothes. Some time passed and she cut, nipped, and threaded a fine needle through her children’s clothes, too. Her husband took to calling her fanatical; saying she no longer honored his wishes….

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Bukowski

We lay in bed and smoked cigarettes. She wasn’t allowed to smoke in her apartment, but figured she’d find a way to cover the smell when the time came to move out. The future never concerned her much. Untouchable, unknowable things never did. Her naked leg rested on my stomach as we talked about the…

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