Treehouse

online magazine for short, good writing

Category: Fiction

American Tourister

by a contributor

Mark McKee

My suitcase will not eat. My suitcase is a Samsonite American Tourister in titanium grey.

It has a doghouse in a backyard. A pair of silver dishes, sixteen ounces each. All the Alpo it can eat. All of this I give to it, yet it will not eat.

We go for walks daily, and I know my neighbors are envious. Who would want a dog or cat when they could have a Samonsite, world renowned for its disposition?  Oh, I’ve had dogs and cats. If you took the love of ten thousand black labs and sprinkled in a dash of Dalmatian, you’d have exactly five percent of the affection guaranteed by your average Samsonite.

The only problem with owning a Samsonite is the finicky eating habits. Some weeks my Samsonite will go days without eating. We fight about it. The only thing we fight about. We fight because I can’t stand it to go hungry. At night while it sleeps I open it up and sneak food into its satin innards. I pat its smooth cool surface and sneak back to bed. In the morning the food lays beside it, uneaten, unchewed.

Eight weeks pass. No food, not a drop. There’s a case of Alpo stagnating in the garage. You’ll waste away, I tell it. And already it looks thinner. Bits of plastic fall off during our afternoon walks. At home it won’t drink. Drink, Samsonite! I say. Drink! Later I find it under the bed hocking up a pair of Bermuda shorts. According to the owner’s manual, and despite its finicky appetite, the Samsonite is known for its indestructibility. This is troubling. Losing weight, lethargy. I fear my Samsonite is diseased.

I follow the care instructions carefully. I wash its hard coat with a damp cloth, spray silicone into its hinges. It nudges my sweaty hands, licks my fingertips with its plastic tags. My heart melts. I love you, Samsonite, I say, please be okay. Its surface is warm. Fever.

I take time off. I’ve neglected it, I know. I should be taking it with me on my business trips. Samsonites are born for travel.

In bed we weather in-flight movies as the fever breaks. Airplane!, Airport, and something with Jennifer Aniston. We both fall asleep, my arms cuddled around it.

I dream of plastic wheels chasing rabbits across a tarmac. When I wake, the answer is lying beside me.

Who wants to go on a trip? I say. And immediately we begin to pack.


Mark McKee is from Dyersburg, TN. His work has appeared recently in Space Squid and Eyeshot. He sometimes reviews books at goodreads.com/markmckeejr.

See Mark’s list of 5 Things tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.

Near-Sighted

by a contributor

Deborah Rocheleau

I should have cloud-gazed more. If only I’d focused on something more distant than the cracks in the sidewalk, like constellations on a dewy night, only visible in my peripheral vision. In Chinese, the word for ugly is compound, composed of the adjective “difficult” and the verb “to look”. Literally, hard to look at. Only now do the doctors tell me that life should never be hard on the eyes.

I never sat on my brother’s liquefying couch in the basement, eyes trained on the sniper scope taking up a fourth of the TV screen. Though the TVs got wider, his video games kept parceling up the screen, smaller and smaller. I never spent nights pouring over a glowing computer, but I slumped closer and closer to my art books as I read them in bed, until I woke in the morning with my head pressed against them, and I realized the illustration was a portrait of a dog, not a basket of fruit. That was the first sign of eye troubles.

I should have dived eyes-first into the drive-in movie screen, instead of sitting in the rumble seat while my brother tolerated my company, stroking the worn steering wheel instead of his girlfriend’s arm. I licked the garlicky popcorn butter off my fingers as the bad guys duked it out on screen, studying the photos of a Monet by the warm light of an assassin’s fireball. Mom warned me not to read in the dark.

I should have planned on pedaling farther than a bicycle’s spokes could carry me, to a college out of sight of a cornfield. Then my watercolors might consist of more shapes than those rows of crops. They filled my studio window with a scene more inspiring than my blank canvass, distracting me from my work. When I hit a mental block, my eyes would skim those fields, and my hand would sketch them without my consent. So I bought a curtain, blinders for my eyes. Now, when confronted with an assignment deadline, I stare into two patchworks of nothing.

I should have bought French truffles (even though they actually came from China) instead of eating squash November through April, since it was the only local-grown crop that kept dry in the cellar. If I’d ever written letters (writing by candlelight would have done wonders for my eyes, I’m sure) I should have scraped the adhesive off the stamps, collected the little snapshots of another unreachable culture, and wondered what on earth the carnation and the scroll meant, anyway.

Freshman year, my school got vending machines that sold only carrots, in little bags like Barbie-Q chips. If I’d eaten them more often, Mom says, this wouldn’t have happened. Carrots help your eyes, if you don’t mind sacrificing your skin pigmentation. I’m sure Mom has a home remedy for that somewhere, too.

Living so close to the airport, the noise is whiter than my canvas, and just as distracting. I learned to block it out, to see it as the clacking typewriter of productivity. Now, in the silence of a corn field, I’m out of ink ribbon, armed with only a jar of liquid paper.

They say Beethoven was deaf; he felt out his symphonies through vibration and memory, note by note through dozens of revisions. So could a half-blind artist paint by feeling the heat of refracted light off paint? Blazing yellow, eye-watering red, and snow-on-the-eyelashes blue?

Wearing another person’s glasses doesn’t show you how they view the world, all blurry and unfocused. You have to have their eyes, too.

In hindsight, I should have worn frumpy sweatshirts and frizzy hair, instead of squeezing my legs into skinny jeans and ironing my hair pizzelle-thin every day. I have to change my style now to accommodate the glasses. It’s a fine line between sophisticated genius and bookworm, and there’s no way I’m letting a contact get that close to my eyeball. Don’t they hurt? Don’t they sting, like ill-suited people forced too close together?

I wear my glasses when I check my email now, a half-dozen social networking sites open on my computer. Sitting in my chair, I escape the stuffy air of my house, filled with the breath of one too many family members. “Friends” leave me comments, telling me what they really think about my art without the hypocrisy of polite conversation getting in the way.

“She places her strokes with audacity, mocha-mint brown next to gaudy yellow,” some wannabe critic observes. “The result is, frankly, too ugly to endure.” I agree, in the Chinese sense of ugly. Every day, as I whizz past the inspiration for the scene on my bike, I think the same thing, how ugly it all is.

I shouldn’t have tried to read the words of my mother’s spy novels as I lay in her lap, collecting useless scraps of stories. I rolled my eyes beyond their natural range to graze across those black lines like crops, those precious sentences out of another human being’s head. Probably pulled an eye muscle that way. Then again, the critics would have you believe nothing in life should be hard to look at.


Deborah Rocheleau is a language fanatic. Her fiction has been published with the Tin House Open Bar100 Word Story, decomP magazinE, Flights, Mock Turtle Zine, and the Boston Literary Magazine. She is currently writing a contemporary young adult novel. She blogs at deborahrocheleau.wordpress.com.

See Deborah’s list of 5 Things tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.

I Am Going To Be Irish For A While

by a contributor

Paul Handley

I told my friend Hal that I was going in for the surgical portion of my WASP-to-Irish ethnicity change on Monday morning. I asked him for a ride since I wouldn’t look like my license after the procedure was completed.

“Sure,” Hal said, “but why do you want to be Irish?”

“Everybody seems to like them. Who doesn’t want to hang out in an Irish bar for a session over a pint?”

“Session of what?”

“That just means music with traditional instruments and sing-alongs. Mostly just the chorus so the tunes don’t get ruint.”

“Are you trying to talk with an Irish lilt? It sounds like you knocked out a tooth on a curb.”

“It’s called a brogue. I’ve been undergoing ethnic orientation therapy for weeks. I started playing Gaelic Hurling. The equipment is really unique. I have to import the hurley stick from Ireland.”

“Are you kidding me? They can’t make it here?”

“The hurley stick is made from an ash tree.”

“Uh-huh, and does it have to be blessed by Father Bono? I’m no treeologist, but I’m pretty sure there are ash trees in this country.”

“I don’t know. I just buy it where I can. Have you ever bumped into any hurley sticks at your local sports market?”

“No.”

“There you go. So the ash breaks really easily when there is a clash between sticks.”

“Clash?”

“Yeah. It’s pretty violent. It’s so cool.”

“What else is involved?”

“I’ve started drinking Irish whiskey.”

“Like before games, during?”

“It’s all the pregame and post game ceremony that makes hurling so great.”

“Drinking isn’t exactly a new ceremony.”

“It depends on what you drink. Listen to this toast. Croi follain agus gob fliuch.”

“Very lofty. Does it mean anything?”

“A healthy heart and a wet mouth!  Everyone heads off to the bar after practice and games for a bit of craic.”

“Irish bars serve crack?”

“C-R-A-I-C. It’s a wee bit of fun.”

“It is, is it? A wee bit?”

“Wee or scads. However it turns out.”

“So do you buy the sticks by the bushel? Maybe you can get your own ash stand going and sell to the hurling crowd.”

“No, too limited a market. It’s not for everybody. There are Irish guys on the team that don’t really talk to the non natives.”

“Really? Why?”

“I don’t know. They’ve been hurling since they were kids. They’re way better.”

“F’ them.”

“It’s part of their culture. I have to respect it. They’re pretty cool to me. I think it’s because of my red hair.”

“You don’t have red hair and what does that have to do with it?”

“Well they’re a little like the Japanese, because they’re from an island, there is a kind of purity.”

“So, how many hurley sticks do you go through?”

“It depends. Because ash is so dry I leave the stick in the bathroom when I take a shower so it can absorb the humidity.”

“That works?”

“Sure. I also bought some linseed oil and rub it into it.”

“What motion works better for you, up and down or back and forth?”

“Hilarious. How old are you?”

“I’m not the guy stroking a wooden stick in the bathroom.”

“Ash.”

“Ash is wood and it’s what you’re waxing in the bathroom.”

“I tell you what else I do with that stick. I carry it when I jog at the park and when those nasty geese try to nip me, I club’em.”

“You have completely lost your mind. Skipping through the park like a maniacal leprechaun dispatching birds.”

“You’ve said yourself they crap all over everything.”

“I know what I said, but that doesn’t mean I’m laying em’ out with a club.”

“Fierce dispositions on those geese. I have to jog more because I’ve taken up smoking. Those Irish people are amazing. They can smoke cigarettes all day and blow by me on a high snig. You wouldn’t know a snig from a puckout. It’s all in the culture. Kinda private like. You wouldn’t understand, mate.”

“Mate, I believe is Australian.”

“That’s what I bring to the table; a little cross-fertilization. The isolation is good, but at the same time there are connotations which negative-types are apt to leap on.”

“Aren’t you worried about being called a plastic paddy?”

“That’s exactly what I’ll be after the surgery. I can get some cosmetic things done; they’ll tattoo some freckles, dye my hair, but anything else will have to be retouched with a knife.”

“I’m glad you have found a umm… niche for yourself. If you ever want to dip back across the pond here give me a call.”

“I’ll do that soon, but I’m pretty busy. I’m looking into moving the family to Boston. You know, so I can really immerse myself in the culture. But I still need a ride before all that.”


Paul Handley has published humor in The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review; Gargoyle; McSweeney’s Internet Tendency; Monkeybicycle; a short play performed at Pulp Diction III; a short play published in the Mayo Review; hundreds of poems; and a full length book of poetry entitled 5-Tool Poet from Punkin House Press.

Footnotes to Family Recipes

by a contributor

JJ Lynne

1. Separation is natural.

Ever since I moved out, the batch of groceries that she leaves for me repeats like an untreated case of acid reflux. The contents in the single brown paper bag are always the same, but the frequency changes. For the first month it was weekly, because my old room was ripe with the smell of me – reminding her consistently that somewhere outside of the newly whitewashed womb there was a funhouse mirror of her. That month, the groceries were accompanied by quick talks over burnt coffee about me going for my GED and shedding my anxiety like dead cabbage leaves.

2. No substitutions.

Eventually, the food cropped up on the kitchen table every other week like a lukewarm lover slowly pulling the perforated edge of that damn paper bag away from the zipper-toothed seam, removing the stability of the united paper ream. By the middle of the third month, Aunt Alma had to call her with an assault of accusations, a parade of faults pounding through the hall – an entire procession headed into a single boiling pot. The bag would arrive on the apartment steps two days later: sorry I missed you. Without looking in I can name every imperishable that is pulled from the bag like a white rabbit from a black hat – predictable, without room for grey area:

two jars of crunchy peanut butter, tar-thick with the sound of static as I chew,
two loaves of market brand bread (because Hostess folded like a paper fan and left me without Wonder),
one gallon of raspberry ginger ale: mild astringent,
one box of Cheez-Its,
a gallon of whole milk – pasteurized and virgin pure,
a value pack of instant Mac ’n’ Cheese,
a box of Oreos to keep the theme: our black tie affair, bleached bondage,
and lastly, a few rolls of toilet paper to wipe everything clean.

That ought to sustain me for two days, perhaps three. Doesn’t she remember what it’s like to be nineteen and ravenous, hungering for everything that can be consumed, orally and otherwise? The nourishment that she gives is processed and preserved, salt-soaked and sprinkled with traces of formaldehyde. Perhaps if I were emulsified like the peanut spread in those plastic jars, she would be my mother again. She must be tired of my body being a question mark, neck bent to avoid hitting my head on the low doorframes, a dick drooping where I thought a period should sit.

3. No preservatives added.
I’ve stopped eating all of that shit and am spending my nights pressing her paper bags into origami fortune tellers. Aunt Alma is afraid that I am becoming one of them, collapsing in on myself again. Last time it took five firemen and three paramedics to get me out of my clementine crate, bedroom doors and windows boarded to keep me fresh and safe from pressure, exposure to the elements. All I wanted was to taste a bit of citrus, to feel what organic means: without any masking tape over my crotch or black finger paint tire-tracked under my lids. In the two weeks at the hospital they pulled back my pleated layers and saw every omen written on my skin. I was telling my own fortune then.

4. Stirring of contents may be necessary.
Hers are like conjugal visits. They serve one purpose: to fulfill her need for self-satisfaction, some thinly sliced version of what she calls love. The only things that we share are twin eyes and a pack of cigarettes. When she says Ethan, I say I prefer Collette. That’s the catalyst that forces Gemini irises to collide like meteors, ashes slipping from cigarette butts, lashes dripping with mascara slag. You know I can’t handle this. I am not sure which one of us said it, but I know we both feel its residue in our mouths like morning breath. Alcohol will burn it out. Mom orders hers shaken, not stirred. I am wondering how to say that in me there is a girl like her, grinding against a grate, her chafed image falling into a glass where she will conglomerate with a hard cock, a baritone echo – anything that operates like a man. My hands are saying more than lips, like oracles pulling meaning from the tabletop’s Ouija placemats. Tonight each limb is a tarot card waiting to be turned over, and before I let go of her, I will show mother every card in the deck.


JJ Lynne is a recent graduate of Merrimack College and recipient of the Bishop Markham Medal. Her poems have won first and second prizes in the Rev. John R. Aherne Poetry Contest and her writing has appeared in Common Ground Review and Meat for Tea. JJ currently works as a library assistant and looks forward to seeing her work in forthcoming issues of Mock Orange Magazine and PANK’s online edition.

Excerpts from “The Diary of Noah’s Wife”

by a contributor

Angel Zapata

Day One:

Sealed within this ark, we are shadows amid swine and wild feathers. My tongue rehearses raven shrieks. Noah grunts, shivers beside me; strong arms lasso my shoulders. We’d run barefoot through sky tears hours ago. Now mud between my toes is cold.

Day Three:

The songbirds nudge me awake. They perch on crossbeams, knit nests of straw; plucked human hair. I rub my scalp. Noah smoothes his gray beard. Wings lash air, spawn dust storms. I rise, tear the fabric of my hem, offer bright spun thread to the first brave beak.

Day Seven:

I feed more anonymous beasts today. My hands are a whetstone for black hirsute splinters. One gold brute lumbers close, nuzzles my thigh and hip; baptizes with whiskers and purrs. The bittersweet stink of earth and fur anoints my skin.

Day Twelve:

The constant creak of wood spurns a cruel voice. Noah drops his feed pail, cocks an ear—listens. He holds his scarred hands over torch flame and translates. The sun, he says, is a woman I fail to recall the moment she leaves the room.

Day Sixteen:

Noah dreamt of drowning again; his body, bloated—ocean creatures of the deep snapped their teeth. I dab his eyes with lamb’s wool. Our three sons, he says, were bent over the ship rails, dripping salt into an already swollen sea. My neck filters his screams.

Day Twenty:

Muted laughter: my eldest son, his wife. I spy below the stable wall. He kneels before her, cheek to bulging belly. She stands above him, rubs his hair. The foal beside me blinks. We’ll call him Noah, she says. I know joy floats high above the ruined Earth.

Day Twenty-Seven:

The army of ants and honeybees that interrupt the moon and stars burrow holes in Noah’s mind. He battles insomnia, builds a cradle for an unborn grandchild. Imagine, he says, we’re swaddled within it. Our eyes close. The ark sways as the animals shift their weight.

Day Thirty-one:

I bleed again. Earth clings to the body like grass blades. The waters shake their hips and tease. You are a tarnished cup, they sing. But this clever loam mocks them with seed. Seeing color between these legs restores the garden. Oh, how I’ve missed these red blooms.

Day Thirty-Eight:

Sometimes the donkeys kick at stall planks, ache for the open fields of yesterday. Noah shields his ears. The unnerving noise reminds him too much of that last day on dry land. He hears those fists pound again and again against the ark’s closed door.

Day Forty:

At midnight, my husband stirs me from fitful sleep, whispers my name with burning kisses. He presses his flesh against mine, enters me from behind. We become wolves howling in the darkness.

THE END


Angel Zapata is the recipient of the 2012 Mariner Award for Bewildering Stories’ most outstanding flash fiction work of the year, “Carrion Folk.” His first poetry chapbook collection, “An Offering of Ink and Feathers,” was just published. Visit him at arageofangel.blogspot.com.

Lullaby

by a contributor

Diana Mumford

Mama was two kinds of ugly. When she got mean and yelled at me, up close in my face, I could see the ruptured veins around her twice-broken nose, under her too-thin skin. Tiny red snakes she couldn’t shoo away. Mama’s demons began in her face. After Daddy was gone for good, they seeped down deep into her bones, invoking squatter’s rights. She had always known what she was. Daddy leaving us girls early on allowed her to embrace her true self. It took me longer to feel the hunger I was meant to inherit. I was born with Daddy’s face, but I was seventeen years old when I first felt mama’s ugly creep into me. Right after she got her nose broken for the third time, breeding more ugly for us to share.

Mama and her latest beau were sitting intertwined at the dinette.

“I’ve been thinking about getting us a motorcycle,” he said. He caressed her just above her knee, just below a section of purple- and green-tinged skin. Motor oil embedded his nails. Mama’s eyes twinkled in her teasing way. I sat opposite their lover’s knot, largely ignored. When Mama had a man over, I was part of the scenery.

“Why would you want to get one of those?” she asked in a high girlish voice. She wrinkled her nose and her veins resituated.

“I wanna feel the curves of the road. Lean into them. Real gentle at first. Then real swoopin’ fast.” He moved his hand to her inner thigh. She swatted it away.

“If you wanna fuck a road, just stick your dick in a pothole and be done with it,” she giggled. Mama was fluent in the crude language of the men she tried to seduce. His eyes narrowed and he whacked her square on her face. Her head snapped back and blood immediately started flowing from her nose. Her laughter stopped, but she didn’t cower. She just smiled and started singing. Then she lunged.

I could tell Mama was calling to the wrong kinds of people. She was singing her siren song to untamed men, swarthy, with thick leather belts and perpetual five o’clock shadows. Men who learned to take up more space than they needed. I started to make friends with lonely women, so eager to give a piece of themselves to a wide-eyed stranger with a sympathetic heart. Women who hardly took up any space at all. I met them on park benches, the late night bus route, the frozen section of the grocery store. Then I met them in more private places.

My first was Anne. Anne stood at a stooped 5'4" and wore a beige jumper. She told me she didn’t live alone; she lived with her two dogs. Her babies, she called them. We met in the bakery aisle. Her husband had left her, so she’d decided to indulge herself. We became fast friends in the harsh fluorescent light. She even gave me the recipe for Pearl’s Perfect Pie Crust.

“Pearl was my mama,” she later told me, through sobs. We had relocated to a dank motel room after she offered me a piece of her pie. She said her mama knew better. That she was always right about that man that left her.

“I know about men up and leaving. Same thing happened with me and my mama,” I offered. I finished fussing over my reflection in the dusty mirror and turned to face her. “You know… you can really only trust yourself these days.”

Anne pulled her hands from her face. Her eyes widened as her grief migrated into fear. She had realized she was alone with me. A stranger. She looked at me now, hard and awake, but I cooed and crooned to her the way I learned from watching Mama. Singing and swaying, I lured her back in with the promise of being fixed, feeling young, and standing tall. As I moved closer, the smell of dog on her coat grew stronger. I could feel the ugly coursing through, growing stronger as well. Tiny snakes in my veins that I welcomed in. I reached out and brushed back her hair as she calmed and murmured, “I’ve never done this before.” I laughed lyrically and beamed. I was new to this too. I licked my lips and wondered who would feed her babies that night when she didn’t come home.

 


Diana Mumford lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with her loving plant, Merle. She is currently working on a collection of multimedia and short fiction companion pieces.

See Diana’s list of 5 Things tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.

Senator Max Baucus Leaves Five Tips

by a contributor

Kelly Ramsey

1

tip1
1 It was a bag of mulch, okay? Heavy as a corpse and heady with must – I dropped the bag behind the jeep to catch my breath. That’s when the woman—short blond hair, round little breasts—backed her car over my mulch bag.
I think she thought she hit a body. She jumped out of the car with her painted lips in an oh-no shape. Then saw what she’d hit. In the ecstasy of her relief, she laughed.
Had she not done that, we wouldn’t have needed the attorney, the lawyers’ and publicists’ lunch, the statement.
But she did laugh, and I know I wasn’t seeing straight but she looked just like that woman, Melodee, and I was overcome with the urge to punch her right in the teeth.
Which urge, to her great surprise, I satisfied.
Later I painted a sprawling, open vagina. I made it the color of moss, deep as a forest. Max leaned in my studio door and said Repeat after me There was no incident; I did not hit anyone.
There was no incident, I said. I did not hit anyone important.
Wanda, my husband said. You’ve become a liability.


2

tip2
2 It was not the first time she’d signed his name. She signed his official correspondence, signed for his packages, stamped his name on honorary diplomas. This was the first time, however, she had signed for his room service while standing behind a door with his dick nosing the back of her thighs. Max Baucus, she signed, considering but not adding, U.S. Senate.
He had ordered a single cheeseburger so as not to arouse suspicion with his expense report, and he crouched over the lacquered tray, cutting the burger into equal halves, his penis dangling loosely between his naked legs.
She dressed quickly and picked up her bag.
Melodee, he said. Where are you going?
His expression pleased her. He, implacable as varnish, capable of arguing for affordable health care or defending a corporate tax break without so much as a blip in his heart rate, looked almost wounded. As if this were the first time he’d done this. As if he might actually care for her—her: now in her forties, divorced, not yet the legislator she’d planned to be, the blond in her hair no longer natural.
One thing you should know about me, Baucus, she said. I do not like to share.


3

tip3
3 My father came back to Montana for the wedding. He arrived without Wanda. With someone else.

I told Stephanie before the rehearsal, don’t even try to have a conversation with a real man—that isn’t what this is. This is a fish you’ve caught who’s flopping in your boat and you need to thwack him in the head to end the pointless thrashing. Only he doesn’t know he’s gone. He still thinks he’s a human being.


4

tip4
4 Where is the where is the where is the courage?
where is the senator on that side of the aisle I say
fault because
you know what happened?
they asked very good questions and you know
what happened?

pressured – pressured! Not to do it Not to
do it – Not to do it

He got pressured pressured pressured
I was in the room constantly – constantly

That is a totally untruthful statement

this is this person’s judgment

and you know what happened?
One by one they started to drift away.*


5

tip5
5 “That’s really sad,” Wanda said, and the reporter wrote it down. As if that wasn’t her, being interviewed, being left. As if she’d never been a Harvard prof and then a housewife and then just a woman punching another woman in the face over a bag of mulch. Someone else had been—his horrible word—indiscreet. Not her. She had left him, after all, with eyes like holes in his face.
Or it was mutual. A talking face, a wooden mouth, all of it sponsored—like a billboard. “It’s a man’s town,” she said. The reporter scribbled hungrily.
But she knew that Max, too, was exhausted. She knew he loved to dance, and Melodee would dance with him. Melodee didn’t resent his world, she was of it, and Max needed that.
“Sad” was the wrong word, but Wanda didn’t bother correcting it. She had always been—what did he call it?—imprecise. She covered her hands in paint.

 

*Note: Section 4 is a manipulated/redacted Senator Baucus quotation.


Kelly Ramsey lives on Fishers Island, New York, where she co-directs the arts nonprofit The Lighthouse Works. Her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in American Short FictionOrion, and The Material, and she will be a fellow at the MacDowell Colony this fall.