Between Living and Dying


(page 3 of 3)

She saw the teeth first. The black gums. The lips curled back. Empty eyes like glass. Its face locked in a snarl.

Then she noticed the hole. It was neat, almost a perfect circle. The dried blood looked black, like paint. The matted hair, twisted, and split, flecked with twigs and dirt and something white as bone. Tommy was right. It was Anna’s dog. Her name was Daisy. The hole in her chest was deep, so deep that it just turned black inside, and the more she stared at it the deeper it seemed to get, a passageway between the living and the dead. Zero wondered where the guts were, where the muscle was. It should be oozing all the insides out, she reasoned. But it wasn’t. It didn’t smell. There were no flies or maggots or anything. It was just still. Zero didn’t think anything could ever be that still. It was empty. Quiet. As if whatever had once been inside was gone.

Zero sat on the floor, pulling her legs up to her chin. She waited. She tried to stay as still as the dead thing. It seemed far away now. She watched it like it was just picture on television and tried not to be scared. She wasn’t going to cry. Little girls cried. She wasn’t a little girl. She was going to be nine tomorrow. Nine year olds didn’t cry.


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About Ally Malinenko


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Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry collections The Wanting Bone and How To Be An American (Six Gallery Press) as well as the novel This Is Sarah (Bookfish Books). Better Luck Next Year, a poetry collection is due out in Summer of 2016 through Low Ghost Press. She tweets @allymalinenko mostly about Doctor...read more Who
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