STORYGLOSSIA Issue 24, October 2007
My grandma's skin on her hands told me a story about what it was like to be dead. My youngest sister asked me what her hands felt like when I told her I had touched them, and I said, "Like the skin of a cold dry chicken." My grandmother used her hands to chop weeds, butcher chickens, pluck feathers, dice potatoes, knead dough for cherry pie. She had super-large hands but I had never noted her hands before. After the funeral everyone commented on her hands . . .
On the Edge by Barry Graham
I can't remember if it was before or after I pissed on the side of the Grand Canyon, but there was a man standing along the road holding a camera and the car in front of me swerved to avoid hitting a skunk and ran over the man taking pictures of the sun setting behind the canyon. I did nothing until I got to Las Vegas where I stopped at a Del Taco for a spicy chicken burrito then at the car wash to scrub the dried blood off the side of my car . . .
Where the Spirit Leads by Donna D. Vitucci
The front seat of Ben's pickup had the cruddiest springs imaginable. They pinched Bobby in the ass through his Levi's. Rollicking down 460 with Ben in his pickup made Bobby feel like they were kids again on the Tilt-a-Whirl, Ben in control, Bobby along for the ride, secondary. Yet, he was the one nursing a broken heart, and the hurting of it filled up the truck's cab. He pulled his second can of Bud from the six-pack between them on the seat, popped it and offered it, but Ben waved it off . . .
Oh Stella. We've Met. by Janet Freeman
Right then I spotted him: over by the bulletin board, grinning like a dope as he read a post, left arm looped tight through a woman's. She was tall and dark and possessed green eyes that flashed with merry or menace, I imagined, depending on mood or moon phase. On this evening they looked clear and wide, ready for anything except meeting her husband's mistress in the most sacred of spaces. "Don't look now," I said, my voice low, full of drama. "But Tim and his wife just walked in." . . .
Stranded on Third by Patricia Abbott
If Wally's mother stood at her kitchen window on tiptoe, cocking her head just a bit, she could see across the bulging Adam's apple of Bugle Cove and into Wally's living room. Such spying didn't even require binoculars on a moonless night when the room was well lit as Wally saw standing just behind her. He made a mental note that the Lotti Van der Gaag piece on the console, lit by shrieking bulbs, was much too visible—beckoning even. No one had been aware of the view from his parents' kitchen when they were building their summer house—back when there might have been a way to alter the blueprints . . .
Panama by Mikael Covey
At work we fly the meaningless sorties, marking the target range with phosphorus smoke. The jets come by and hit the smoke, as if we were at war. And we are, we just don't tell anyone. Tracking the missions down country with four-letter codes for Santiago, Rio, La Paz. The cargo planes go there for . . . training, I guess. Nothing else, contraband if you've got connections, pistacio nuts and things like that, Hummel statues, nothing much. Upcountry is different, very different. Managua, Tegucigalpa, Guat City. The choppers go there and we track them with four-letter code, xxxx. The rioters killed in Guat City, gunned down from the choppers above. They say the government fired on them to disperse the crowds . . .
Seal Basher by Joseph Kim
He remembered spending a night on the deck of a sealing ship, watching the ice floes slowly sliding by the hull, some would break apart, become like jigsaw pieces—a puzzle in reverse. And he liked to see that, because it wasn't about having to solve anything, but, instead, letting things run their course, turn into flotsam and then eventually melt. Go with the flow, he'd thought to himself. But when he came back down from the deck he had a hard time trying to piss. It was like the tube inside his dick was blocked with ice . . .
White Plains by Aimee Bester
Mr. Shultz is sitting in the living room on his recliner chair. Jim sees right away from his graying complexion and the way he's hunched into himself that he's dead. He stands frozen for a minute watching him, his heart quickening in his throat. The wind brushes up against the small windows and makes a low moan. He looks behind him, past the door that's still open to the outside; the sky is a bright steel blue, hardening quickly into night . . .
Walking Dead by Jessica Colomb
dead [ded] adjective 1. Having lost sensation, numbness; 2. Devoid of living things; 3. Without resonance; 4. Not circulating, stagnant.
The bus had a rocking motion that felt like resting against mother's chest, listening to her heartbeat and taking her in through the nose. A gentle back and forth motion combined with a series of sudden starts and stops that were nothing like mother at all . . .
Pool by Bruce Overby
He jumped into the pool and felt a blast of cold that faded quickly, the pool warmer than the early morning air. His clothes were heavy—wet denim, a sopping sweatshirt—and Heather was hard to turn. Struggling for leverage, he felt her back, her ribs, her hips. He faced her, her wet cheek brushing across his, then resting on his shoulder. He rested there for a moment before holding her away from him. Such beautiful breasts. Such shapely bare breasts. He shook his head and dipped a shoulder into her, then cocked his hands behind her knees. From under the water, he lifted her butt up onto the side, rose, sitting her up, and just caught her before her head fell back onto the deck. He laid her back as gently as he could. "Goddammit, Heather," he said . . .