Two Fictions
Darlin' Neal


She flicked the broom at fallen leaves and watched a sweep of birds rise up: they were in a groove together, she and those birds. A blast in the forest meant the hunters were out again on benders. Drinking and shooting. Another year of falling out of deer stands, mistaking toilet paper. Tissue for a white tail. They were camouflage, bringing home dinner.


She looped an arm around the child. He'd begun crying because of the onions but now wailed. She braced herself for what might be the matter, but he could not, or would not, explain. When she plopped on the floor before him, he said, "Your eyebrow looks mad." In the humid air she felt as if they were made of oil, shimmering and smearing out of sight. She wiggled her eyebrows until he forgot himself and fell into her arms laughing.