This week’s artwork is “I Had a Bad Dream” by W. Jack Savage.
by Lynn Mundell
She had no feeling for the color; it barely registered. Then it was everywhere. The newborn with his jaundiced, puckered face. The buttery sunlight the nurse held him up to, that set his amber down ablaze. The lemon her husband had painted the nursery, until her mother claimed the color agitated babies. Then the egg white with a hint of honey on the freshly painted walls. The rubber duck, the sodden diapers, the pureed squash, all saffron. And her own fear, that something would steal away this golden happiness, became the darkest shade of all—a stinging wasp, a poison.
by Len Kuntz
In the locker room he lit a small tuft of tobacco.
“It’s not okay to smoke in here,” I said.
“You a fireman now?”
“You shouldn’t be smoking at all.”
“Now you’re my wife?”
“Listen,” I said, feeling brave, “how about we go grab a drink?”
His eyes dropped to my shorts, and I felt myself blush.
“You might want to take care of that first,” he said.
I turned toward the locker, stared into the gray, metal slits. I counted backwards from one hundred in my mind. By the time I got to zero, he was gone.
One in the Eye
by Clay Greysteel
The bullet entered his eye socket, tore through brain matter, and exited the back of his skull. The police arrived first to find his sobbing wife and a gun in his limp hand. They thought maybe it was a suicide attempt as they administered first aid, but a bullet in the eye was a choice they’d never seen before. As he recovered in the hospital, they asked him what happened. “Was just checkin’ to see if it was loaded,” he said.
by Lauri Rose
The deer remember where the lettuce grew last year. They still go searching for it, their bright black noses snuffing the dirt for something that no longer grows there. Tender lettuce is good spring and summer fare. But in the fall the deer will want the life-sustaining acorns. I fed you acorns also, but it did no good. You left me anyway, despite the hours spent pounding brown nuts to mush. Now, I miss your broad shoulders in the morning and there is no one to remind me why I love the first daffodil so much.
by Rachel Warren
Isaac was not his real name. He knew this. But he’d learned in the last few days not to argue the point. Carol, the woman claiming to be his wife was buckling him into the passenger side of her car. Both of his arms were broken. He couldn’t do it himself. She smiled as his buckle clicked. That fake smile she’d been using ever since the look of horror wore off after he stopped insisting Isaac was not his name. Everything about her—her hair, her eyes, the scent of her shampoo—all of it entirely unfamiliar. This car, unfamiliar.