Three Fictions
Matthew Dexter

Empty Bedroom

There is a strange smell that comes from a brother-in-law sleeping in your house because he has no money, two children in another part of the country, and no job. His limited possessions smell different; the house takes on an air of corrosion, dissimilar embers burn in the fires of the soul. The silent pause has disappeared. You cannot escape this space that used to be yours, this paradise now a coffin with doors that used to be open. Clothes strewn around a futon and sneakers left on the terrace to dry in the morning sun. Walls are closing in. When did your dreams die and why must he live here? When will the air smell normal again?


Couple hours before the sixty peso pregnancy test purchased from Wal-mart confirmed that my wife was pregnant I drove to the only bank that offers the smallest increments of withdrawals in an attempt to take out fifty pesos. The old ATM card declined by the dependable cajero automático in air-conditioned confessional booth Banorte; drove home in apathy. Borrowed five hundred pesos from money recently given to the wife to save for the rent so I didn’t drink it all, buy the test and some groceries and L'Oreal face cream for a hundred ninety-three. Too poor for receiving less than five dollars from the fucking ATM, but the line indicates something more, something inerasable, something pure.

Raping the Sea

Today my baby died. She slipped from the bathroom in a puddle of blood and after an hour of confusion all amusements of yesterday became obsolete endeavors that will never be the same again: shopping, painting walls pink, buying tiny clothing with catchy slogans.
Can't help but wonder what would be if that figure survived and bore the grunt of this mad world. Would it watch its parents disintegrate into dust, young lust as the planet overpopulates itself and the third world war removes thirteen nations from the surface of the Earth?
Will the baby bear children of its own and will they together as one family endure a second great depression? Will the seed of her womb become the fertile soil of the wind and land on the naked limbs of poor island children making love beside the sea? And when our souls dissolve into waves and rocks will you remember that I called your name in the dead of night and waning silence was the only answer?