By Thomas Dean
76 words

My mother went once and never came back.

My father took me there and I prayed, while he sat in the car, his window cracked, and smoked cigarettes. I’d imagine him asleep, the car on fire, but when I returned he was always alert: cigarettes scattered among the gravel beside his door. A smile playing on his lips, he’d always ask, “Found the secret of life yet?”

A breath of ash before I’d say, “Still looking.”

Thomas Dean is a MFA candidate in fiction at the Queens University of Charlotte Low-residency program. He has been previously published in Pens on Fire. He is currently working on an untitled short story collection.

No comments: