I saw you crouched in the dusty half-light fed by grain. You came up panting and laid the burlap sack across rotten floorboards; a drop of southern August sweat falling to your boots. Searching for an escape, its contents dashed within, a scared, jittery lump issuing plaintive squeaks.

You said I should do it. It was a pest, you reassured. But I said no, scrunch-faced and scrawny, trying to defy. Your disappointment made me burn, but not act. You held my knee down through the liquid crunch, and my dirty tears, then proudly proclaimed me a man.




William Hubbard writes from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and has work upcoming in Flash Fiction Magazine.