Jesse Jarnow

dead bird, no. 6

(Being an attempt to write short fiction in even shorter increments…)

dead bird, no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11

“You told the coroner about the brownies?” Monica asked, cross-legged on my couch, drinking her third screwdriver of the night. She cradled the paper cup gently in one palm. Her head rested on the other.

“No,” I explained, “he brought up the brownies.”

“Do you want to make brownies?” she asked. It was after midnight. I was on my first drink. “Come on,” she nudged, “The corner store’s open all night, right?”

Three days after she’d arrived we had our first fight, a silent feud that lasted a week, about whether we could afford a funeral. We couldn’t. I had little desire to communicate with my mother’s sister. Monica wouldn’t do it, either, so I won, as it were.

After that, without discussion, we slid into a natural co-habitation. I’d readjusted to Monica’s whims, all of them impulses that existed close to my own surface. Thinking about it right then, I wanted brownies, too. I didn’t offer to go with her, though. That was my fault.