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Author: Mollie Backowski

A Strange Disconnect

They sit in the hospital waiting room. There is a cluster of girls wearing miniskirts and tank tops. One girl is wearing kakis and a white collared shirt. Her mother said she should look respectable. She feels a strange sort of disconnect. The teacher is pacing in circles. All of his students have arrived but their cadaver guide is late. He crisply counts all his students again and thinks about the disconnect between when the man said he would arrive and when he actually is arriving. The guide wearing scrubs arrives. The teacher briskly introduces himself and the man in scrubs has the class follow him to the staircase. The sign above it reads EXIT. The staircase leads to the basement. The girl in kakis rubs her collar that is chafing her neck. The girls in miniskirts giggle. The teacher frowns, the man in scrubs opens the door to where the cadavers are kept.

The cadaver is lying on the table. Each section of the body is disconnected from the other. The girls stop giggling. They take their seats around the body. The girl with the stiff collar begins to feel warm. The man in scrubs begins to tell them about the brain. He is eyeing the girl feeling warm. There is a hole in the top of the skull. Still watching the girl, he takes two fingers and pushes them in the hole. The girl passes out. The teacher bends over her. The giggling girls pull out their cell phones and take pictures of the vagina. The girl who fainted sits outside the room and the man in scrubs sits by her and gives her water. The teacher comes fuming out of the room saying how fainting is an attuned reaction but taking pictures of a vagina that is an emotional disconnect. The man in scrubs smiles lightly to himself.

When the class has gone, the man sits alone with the cadaver inserting his two fingers in and out of the brain. He smiles lightly to himself and finds himself reaching for the vagina. He thinks to himself, it is an odd disconnect really.

Flash Fiction by Mollie Backowski
Picture: Exit by Fe Ilya under CC BY-SA 2.0
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For Brothers and Lovers

Pa shot his brother.

Two days before he shot his brother he shot a deer. The red blood mixed with the peeling rust and pine needles in the bed of his truck making an orange paste that seeped through the cracks and dripped onto moist ground as he slowly drove the crevassed dirt road home. He hung the deer in the garage and Tommie placed the smooth shiny organs in jars and as the grandchildren came outside he chased them around the yard with the organs until they cried and Ma came outside and scolded Tommie with a sharp tongue and soft eyes.

The night before Pa shot Tommie it rained. Ma franticly ran around the house, which was decorated with bleached animal skulls, egg shell white walls and blue pastel curtains, opening each window and Pa ten paces behind would close each window she opened and they circled around like this for hours until Tommie came home cold and damp and looking for a hot shower. As he opened the bathroom door he ran straight into Ma who was opening the small square window in the bathroom, Pa nine paces behind. She pressed her head against the wet flannel of his button up shirt, Pa eight paces behind. Tommie groaned and pressed his arms against his sides and stared up at the cracks in the ceiling, Pa seven paces behind.

The day after he shot his brother Pa emptied two shell casings onto the floor and slung his rifle against the warped wooden gun rack that hung on the living room wall. It cracked finally under the pressure and fell to the floor. Sighing, he drove it to the sea and dug a hole in the sand and gently placed the rifle and rack inside. He looked up at the clouds moving in the sky and made his peace with the loss and smiled softly and said a slow sad melancholy goodbye.

Flash Fiction by Mollie Backowski
Picture: Rust by Derek Bridges under CC BY 2.0
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