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March 3, 2014 Fiction


Douglas Light

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A trashbag-blue tattoo of a spider stained her left big toe. D-O-O-M read the tops of her other four toes. She had a taste for chicken nuggets and cocaine and never showed initiative. “Assessory” was all she ever got charged with.

He was an ADA with a degree from Dartmouth and an impressive bow-tie collection. Beautiful words were his strong suit. 

She got eighteen months. He got a promotion.

Why he was waiting for her at the prison gates when she was released is anyone’s guess. How their relationship ended isn’t.

He’d taught her initiative. She took it—and a meat cleaver.

Blood on a silk bow-tie is impossible to get out.



Overwhelmed, a grieving Palestinian mother who was raped by an Israeli soldier drowns the bastard infant in a muddy puddle alongside the road.


Really, it was his fault. He lied about his age, his marital status, his wealth. The shabby apartment with frayed shag carpeting betrayed his words. “Vodka or gin?” he asked, running his fingers through his thinning hair.

She slipped off her panties, bit at a hangnail. “It all depends on how you want this evening to end.”

He poured gin. A big mistake.

Blood on white carpeting is impossible to get out. 


Here’s the scenario:

Overwhelmed, an impoverished black mother who’s baby-daddy abandoned her drowns their infant in the toilet.

Please react. 


“There are three things I’d never do,” she told him, leaning against the cigarette machine.  The evening was hot. Drinks at the bar were cheap. She had teeth the color of driftwood.

He touched her arm, her face, her hair. He loaned her a dollar in quarters for the machine, thought, If she buy Salems, I’m fucking her. He gently touched her lips. “Show me the three things,” he said.

She bought Salems, then she showed him.

Blood on cloth car seats is impossible to get out.


Let me establish the scenario:

Overwhelmed, an affluent white mother on Zoloft whose husband left her drowns their infant in the bathtub.

Please, if you’d be so kind, react.


Put down your phone for a moment.  Look at me. Listen.

Please, tell me: What’s the difference between an excuse and an explanation?

Please, tell me: Have you ever been in love?

image: Aaron Burch