Fiction

Barzini To The Rescue

When you’re five years old, every day begins the same. I remember staying in bed those cool August mornings, the only one awake, floating with my eyes closed as the birds rummaged through the next door palm tree. Then I would fall back to sleep until I heard my father in the bathroom, softly whistling the Ovaltine commercial as he sharpened his razor on the leather strop.

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Miss Honeybunch Takes A Dip

Rosellen sipped her lime rickey and puckered her lips. She wished the drink had gin in it, but here at the pool everybody knew Daddy and would tell.

Rosellen tried to think, but it was difficult in the sun. She liked thinking and planning. It was fun to be pretty and smart, but have everybody think she was just pretty. The last chords of “A Summer Place” crackled through the loudspeakers. When she heard it last month she knew that nineteen and fifty-two was the best year of her life; she knew it was her and Bud’s song and decided she loved this summer more than any other, ever.

Except for one thing.

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Aunt Cat's Picture

Aunt Cat's Picture

You asked about what happened, so I tried to remember. Mama never talked about it, not to me at least. What’s here is what I pieced together, through overheard words, voices raised and lowered, looks—the shards stuck in a brain corner, wanting to merge, waiting for a stray sunbeam to strike the remnants from, say, pieces of broken glass, and suddenly, there’s a pattern.

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Minox

Minox

The guy in the picture came back into my life like Marley’s ghost. Of course I knew that face. It was the lead picture in my exhibition in that winter of ’95. When I walked into the gallery, there he was, sitting by the window, an older guy in a trench coat looking like the wind would blow him into the Hudson. He stared, then motioned me to come over. I was surprised he knew who I was.

He answered my question without my asking: “I saw you back then. I got a good memory,” he said. Thirty years ago I was a kid.

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