All tagged fiction

Listless

The boy awoke, listlessly, without stirring; a mere blinking of his eyes until they agreed to remain open and seeing. He lay still with his head on the pillow, his dreams drifting up and away in locks of vapor and mist. The room was dark. The pale early morning light seeped in from behind the shut blue curtains, falling in rays and shafts about the bed. The boy watched the tiny dust particles drifting lazily in the light, unconcerned with whatever his business was.

Gas Money

Jim has a tattoo of Jesus. I kiss Tattoo Jesus on the lips and have an epiphany. I heard about epiphanies in church, when you suddenly know something big, and I knew I loved Jim and Jesus.

Listerine

Grandma has been sober twelve years, we think. She says it’s ‘cause family fucks her up plenty. She says that from her seat by the window—by the action, she calls it. As police cars and packs of teens pass, she comments on them, even when she’s alone, like she is the voice in their heads. We don't listen to Grandma too much because she already is the voice in our heads, from the second we are born. It is a real something to find your consciousness in the living room every day, decomposing, complaining about the orange juice.

What I Did with My Inheritance

I built spite houses beside all my siblings’ homes. Spite houses on corners and in alleys, spite houses to block scenic views and make parking impossible. Spite houses to plummet property values. Spite houses as symbols, as beacons, as signals, sending thoughts of me plundering into their skulls every morning when they rise fresh from the sheets, when they come home collapsing after work, when they wake in the middle of the night and aren’t sure why.

She Knows How to Use Them

I ask Judy if she’s ever heard the phrase “cutting your heels,” like when you’re first learning something and you’re not very good at it yet, but you sort of just have to get used to it. She says the phrase I’m thinking of is “cutting your teeth.”

Doggy-Dog World

I know this couple in a casual way. A neighborly way. They went to the adoption place to adopt a cute friend. Something soft and sweet, something to love. We want something to love, they said, and I said, besides each other? They said, in addition to. We want something waiting for us by the door. A fan, a witness, this is our wish.

The Sea Urchin

Grandmother kept a diver’s knife strapped to her thigh. Daily, before the night could fray into dawn, she dived half a mile from shore, inhaling three minutes of air at a time. All morning she pried abalone and sea urchins from slick rock. 

Methods of Escape

Waiting for the doctors to tell you everything went fine with your father’s surgery, a woman your age says she’s got six months left. She’s in her hospital gown, clutching her IV in the waiting room of the urology center. She’s got red painted nails, chipped like yours. When you ask what she’s got, she says a rare kidney kind that chemo doesn’t work on.

Roadside Attraction

The moment you step out of the car, you’ve lost your keys. They are not in the car. They are not in your purse. You decide to put off locating them until after you’ve seen the exhibit; it’s been a long day. You walk in, pay your thirteen dollars. Inside smells like harsh lemonade, a sort of weird lemon mirage in the middle of this desert you’ve been driving through. The first glass case contains approximately ten objects, several of which you recognize.

Constant Worth

When the Worths got picked to go on Family Double Dare, they asked me and Becky if we'd do their dogs' insulin shots. Mrs. Worth had asked around and heard we were responsible kids. The invitation to Nickelodeon Studios came in a bright green padded envelope. Rhea Worth traced Marc Summers's signature on her jeans.

Newfound Grace

Raj stood in the entryway of his cubicle, staring out of the office window, watching one of his coworkers try to back his car into a too-tight parking spot. The mid-sized SUV lurched forward and backward until its broad ass fell center within the two white lines and two much larger SUVs next to it. The rain had started with a sort of clatter—a large rumble, really—that had brought everyone out of his or her cubicle for a moment.

Meeting Sebastian

"Now run," whispered Stacey before she darted into her home. What I thought was a goodnight, maybe a third-date kiss, became a wholly unromantic sprint. I stumbled through rooms with no lights on, with her screaming at the top of her lungs about how I had to run faster and faster. Before I knew it we were panting and laughing, sitting against the locked bedroom door.

Get Dumpt!

On the day I first called Jacob, I was out looking for dachshunds. I chose dachshunds because they were some specific thing I could probably find in this city that was not my ex-boyfriend.

The Dead Kids of Hennepin County

The boy's mother assumes God is an asshole. The girl's mother says the boy is an asshole. The girl's father blames: This half-frozen lake. Global warming. But also, not enough global warming. Himself. Teenage dreams. The neighbors for not seeing. The night for not letting them see. The sundown. Time. In general. He should have told her how to be young.

Out There

The FBI headquarters burned down while we were passing notes in math class. Meteor shower tonight, you wrote.Or so They say, I wrote back. Perfect cover for the landing. The principal came and got you and when I saw you after gym. Your eyes were red.