Four Fictions: Batter, Cook, Game, Eve
Kim Chinquee


I washed my grandma's chickens, soaking bodies, stripping feathers, headless. Kool-Aid made me hiccup. My father yelled shutthefuckup. I pretended. My mouth was taped with duct tape. I caused my father's ulcers. I was about to bat. The coach said I was bunting. I knew how. I was fast.


My mother baked things. Always. One time, she made brownies, saying they were for our retriever, Savage. "It's his prize," she said. She knew I wouldn't eat them. She told me to take a nap. When I woke up the brownies were all gone and so was my mother. She was lying on a sofa. She smelled like gasoline.


By noon, the ballgame was over. Todd and I rode our bikes past a field with tall and wilting weeds. He looked back. I was behind him, smelling the lilacs from the distance. He told me not to hurry. I was Sunflower Wagner. I was a woman. I was twenty. He won. I was in the stands. He hit three home runs. He had a wicked punch. We rode by the cemetery. Someone was lowering a coffin.


It is fifteen below so we stay inside, making candy out of pudding that we put in the freezer. We recycle melted chocolate. It is a reunion of sorts.