Jesse Jarnow

the island, no. 10

(Short fiction in even shorter increments.)

The Island: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11 “Stop that,” my father said one morning several days

after the occurrence of the island. He had shaved. “Take those down,” he instructed, pointing at charts he’d made. The maps remain, organized and intact, in the attic of the house. I am unable to consult them.

He died just after the New Year. With the trees barren, I could just see the water from the second floor windows. It was a muted gray little different from anything else in the landscape. The wind rattled the glass. I thought of the effort it would take to disassemble his office.

“Just what the hell is wrong with you?” he asked me, the night of the tantrum, the last night of the island.

“Me?” I said. I was taken aback.

“I asked you to get me a goddamn boat,” he told me.

“When?”

“Three weeks ago, for God’s sake.” My father had asked me to get him a boat three weeks previous, but I had taken it for dementia. I was ready to acquiesce to Elizabeth and my brother’s hypothesis. It was an opinion I held for many years. Its inaccurate truth formed the core belief of the household into which Lauren was born.

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