Two Fictions
Kim Chinquee


His light shined at her pupil. He said to look there, blinking. He had a lisp and talked like the lover who'd bit his tongue. She squinted and he told her to rest her chin and look through. She used to run with that guy's whippet. He said -- which is better? One. Or two? Three. Or four? Five. Or six, or seven? He got close and showed her charts, smelling like a cologne she remembered. She followed orders and he journeyed on his swivel, holding up his fingers, and she said one and two and five then, looking where he told her. He had a scar on his chin and were the lines up or down, separate or close, parallel, together? Her nose was clogged and she sneezed and he said bless you, smiling all dentist-like.

This Country

We met in an off-base shack. We stretched and I tried to learn the accents. We had lean bodies, taut. We ran up and down the hills, cutting through the pastures. We breathed together mostly. They said Alright? and I said Alrighty. Our arms and legs got crampy. I found a single guy and tried his pace, going to the races. We rode in the van. The first one was a 10K. Our minds got set and we jumped at the start.