Wednesday, April 3, 2013


A house stands alone on a swelling plain that stretches away in every direction like a wrinkled sheet in the process of being pulled flat. The cluster of lights from the lonely house shine in the night like a ship on the empty sea. In the dooryard, a rusty pickup truck with a cracked windshield and mud-spattered side panels is parked alongside a minivan. Children sleep in the rooms upstairs, while raccoons stalk the ridgeline of the moonlit roof and a coyote skirts the outbuildings. A dog whines at the door, dancing up and down on its forepaws, begging to be let out. Around the table in the kitchen sit four friends, two couples. The table is littered with playing cards, snack foods, and drinks. A sudden burst of laughter from around the table makes a man involuntarily spit his drink into the face of his wife sitting opposite. More laughter. The coyote glances back over its shoulder toward the house. "Shhh! The kids are asleep!"

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