Jesse Jarnow

dead bird, no. 7

(Being an attempt to write short fiction in even shorter increments…)

dead bird, no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11

The mail was still in the mailbox, all junk. There was an American Express offer for me, and I had not lived there for over a decade. I’d gotten lost on the way over, and it was almost dark. The house outlined in the mild, pink light, I squinted at the familiar facade. When my eyes focused, I realized the whole left side, from the kitchen up, was caved in; missing, like a dark chunk from a waning moon.

The fire had started in the living room, they said. I stood at the edge of the yard and looked at the first floor’s dim skeleton. As a child, I’d imagined fires in the living room many times; not fires that I’d started, but fires I envisioned at their peaks, flames lapping cruelly at the drab, off-yellow drapes. I wondered how this matched up.

I sat on the warm hood of the car for a few minutes before I headed back to the city. The coroner had given me the option of picking up the ashes in the morning or having them shipped. I gave him my address.

1 Comment

  1. Michael Slaboch says: - reply

    These are great Jesse! Keep em’ coming.