House Full of Bugs

Mara wanted to move.
“We can spray, seal up cracks.”
“Too much work.”
Earwigs under damp cloths. Spiders in corners. Beetles lumbered across the floor.
“Moving is work too. It’s spring. Things will settle.”
Fleas invaded, took over the dogs, then our ankles, then the bed. Ants wove a trail from
under the cabinets to the recycling bin across the room.
Mara left while I was at work. On the counter, next to a pile of insect carcasses: “Don’t
follow me.”
A few months later, Abby moved in. She even brought a few bugs with her.

Streetcake Magazine, Issue 74


Metal Hurling Towards Me

Metal hurling towards me. Roar. Jerk. Ears filled. Warm blue-green liquid—antifreeze? Tumble, tumble, tumble. World twisted. Pain. Black.
            “It’s been a year,” Gene said. “Weird, you’re still having flashbacks.” …

excerpted from Agapanthus Collective

Five Days on the DH

Eugene and Otis found her on the eastern side of the range. The night before, they had been celebrating the turn of the new year and century, and they were a little rough.            
          “Let’s make 1900 the best year South Dakota’s ever seen,” … .

excerpted from Frontier Tales


Father tells the family they are leaving Virginia soon, leaving the civilized world for the wilderness of Kentucky. He tells everyone in town they are going next summer. Still, creditors have come to the house. One is knocking now.

            “You can’t tell anyone,” mother says, standing to go to the door. They have been mending socks, a task Charlotte hates, a task they used to have a girl do, when Charlotte was younger, when father won more often than he lost.

            “I don’t see why it matters,” Charlotte says. “People might be glad to see us go.” Charlotte joins mother at the door, socks still in her hands. The rapping at the door is louder, but still not the fist pounding that sometimes happens. Mother deals with the creditors.

            “They will put your father in jail,” mother says sharply. “His debts are too great.”

             “At least then we wouldn’t have to leave,” Charlotte says.    

         Mother’s hand flashes. A quick slap across Charlotte’s cheek. Charlotte grits her teeth…

excerpted from Copperfield Review Quarterly


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