Two Fictions
Daryl Scroggins

Three Etchings

The prodigal son packs his suitcase with costumes and heads back. Dad goes all El Greco in the door. Monkey arms are exchanged, along with what glass does when it's cold. And then the old room -- as if it is the same room, and the younger brother, clothed in many large shirts, teaching the dog to masturbate. Catching him for punishment. The dog.
Mama does crafts. It's her denial of menstruation, of its relevance to cooking, though the knurled hammer she takes to the cheap meat requires a veil of memory. Rote arrangement with pins. Holidays. Children streaming mucus in gesso of snow -- not let in, not past the screen door as color is applied to stone.
First I tell him -- no, I didn't. But when he sends me for the tools I confess to having said Fuck-driver and Nut-wrench. I say I called his car a pussy wagon. I give all over to the sickness of words, the bubbling of power with friends smoking at ten, the saying of Cunt as if a friend's hunting accident was funny, and it was. He gives me the postage stamp look that means -- go on -- and god help me that's when I bring Mama into it. Just mentioning how the postman's back came into view. And he's off.


I fucked her on the grassy knoll. The best thing? Her idea. Quick -- something a man doesn't mind hearing. Short dress; dropped her keys.
Later she said, "Oswald would have caught us. Would have looked there through the crosshairs, missing the other chance."
"What if there was more than one?" I asked.
"Sick bastard," she said.