We’re honored to share some recent work by writers in the Frequency community. This month, it’s an excerpt by Laura Brown-Lavoie. Laura wrote this piece during the July Open Fiction Workshop.
“Heads and hooves!” He yelled at her over his plastic cup of beer. “I cut off the heads and hooves.”
She’d never been on a date with a factory man.
The next morning there were shrubs wilting all over the place. Most of the children playing tag in the
courtyard of the housing complex were stunned when she faked left and took off to the right. “Where
did you learn those moves?” “I’d rather not talk about the past.” The grass looked like potato sticks, and
crunched like potato sticks as she ran.
On the next date, she asked him when he thought it would rain.
“Hell I don’t know,” he yelled. It seemed like he was about to say more, but his voice got caught up in a
wave of sound and she closed her eyes. While her eyes were closed, she pictured hogs strung up for
stunning. When she opened her eyes, every smile was aimed at the little TV over the bar. “Did you see
that?” he said. “Yes,” she said, “wow.”
The pay-by-the-day motel had a lot of lifers. July, and the Christmas wreath on her neighbor’s door had
turned a dingy orange. If Spanish were here he’d light a cigarette. Virginia lit a cigarette and leaned out
the window to smoke it. There were a lot of butts on the balcony, but they were a stranger’s butts and
this, Virginia realized, was proof that she was lost. Sparklers, maybe, she thought.
Outside the convenience store the sign said Fireworks! There were also cigarettes, beef jerky, and slices
of pie, all of which Virginia intended to buy. “Do you make the pie?” She asked the woman. “I can zap
it for you.” The woman said. “Well, alright.” Virginia said.
From the balcony, it looked like the sparklers were waving themselves, squealing like children, fizzing
out in the hands of a shadow.