• Dzama

Coral Saint

Clemens stood on the dock, a slumped silhouette with a fisherman’s hat under a million stars. He watched as the boys got back to the beach, dragging their paddleboards up and out of the water. He stood without speaking or moving as they talked and laughed. He met them up by their pickup. You find her? he asked.

Jet stepped back. Where’d you come from?

Find who? asked Wen.

Isabelle. The Coral Saint. My daughter. Clemens’ face was in shadow under his hat but his eye glinted.

Coral Saint? I have no idea what you’re talking about, sir, said Jet.

Clemens stood as they wrapped towels around their waists to change out of their wetsuits. When they’d pulled on their dry clothes and the boards were loaded up they got into the pickup truck. Clemens got closer to the driver’s side. You could give me a ride to town, he said.

We ain’t going to town, said Wen. We’re headed to Horse’s.

You can drop me there.

If you’re heading to town that’s not even the right direction, said Wen.

From Horse’s I can get another ride, Clemens said.

There’s no space in the cab, said Wen. I’m sorry, bro. We’ll come back for ya! he laughed. Clemens made a whimpering sound, almost like a dog.

Hey, wait a second, Jet said. Here, buddy. Take my seat. I’ll ride in the back with the boards. Seriously. Take my seat. Jet got out of the cab and pulled himself up into the bed of the truck, jumping in with the paddleboards. As Clemens was making his way around the truck to the passenger’s side Wen banged on the back window to get Jet’s attention. When Jet looked up Wen waved a middle finger at him. Read More »

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Native Place

On the Thrundale train Sophia shoved earbuds into her ears. She closed her eyes and tapped her little finger against the window in time with the double bass drum. As the train rushed forward she felt as though drawn through water like a fish with a hook in its mouth.

The sugar mill looked much smaller than the last time she was here. She found Włodzimierz sitting upstairs on an old metal chair, watching the rusty chain pulleys like he was waiting for something. The setting sun blasted through a broken window as Sophia came in and she stood backlit, silently presented him with a black coffee and three jelly doughnuts.

Okay, thank you, thank you, he said. God bless you. You know, my daughter used to bring me jelly doughnuts just like this.

I know. Sofia placed her hand on his shoulder. It’s me, Dad. He turned his head and stared past her. I’m back. Read More »

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Who Else?

Honestly I have zero memory of going back to Ronnie’s walk-in freezer last night. But it’s weird- I’m the only one who has the key. It’s like when you’re taking a shower and you can’t remember if you put conditioner in your hair or not. You literally can’t remember and you have to look at the conditioner bottle for a sign you opened it. Did I have reason to freeze Ronnie to death? Well, he once yelled at this little old lady. She was like asking to use the bathroom and he said, No! It’s out of service! Or something like that.

But Marcus never comes out to Ronnie’s to hang out. How would I have got him into the freezer and left him there until his blood literally froze to ice? I have no idea. But what I’m telling you is, I HAD THE ONLY KEY! So who else could it have been? The key is right here tied to my wrist with a string. Because I lose things. We used to have another one but it like broke off or something and now I have the only one. Read More »

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