GREED BY MICHAEL WASHBURN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 50
THE BEAUTIFUL FAMILY BY KIRKLEY MEHNDIRATTA 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 50
THE IMPASSE BYJAMES BUCHANAN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 50
ITS OWN ARRANGEMENT
LISA LOPEZ SNYDER
THE BEAUTIFUL FAMILY
Her eyes were wide, filled with rage and seething. She was no longer in possession of herself.
Her rages came like Nor’ Easters. Pulsing storms that lasted for a few days, a week, then dissipated.
It was on then off. They’d go to bed fine. The next morning a mental storm rent her eyes. He could sense it, like a change in air pressure.
On this morning, the air was cold. Too cold to snow. There wasn’t even a glimmer of sunrise. Not a star in the sky, no moon, and the storm was in her eyes. It had come two weeks before and showed no sign of abating.
He shivered. “Come on, please, get back in the car.”
“No.” Steam flowed from her mouth. She didn’t blink.
The car’s lights cast a narrow beam on the road. The yellow double lines disappeared into the dark. Steam rose from the exhaust, from her, from him.
The woods were quiet. The only sound was the low resting heart beat of the car’s engine.
It was January the first and it would have seemed exceptional for another car to come down this dark stretch of Route 302 just over the New Hampshire border into Maine. They were alone. He was alone.
“Please,” he said, digging his hands deeper into his pockets against the cold, “please get into the car.”
Her weight shifted from side to side, then settled. “No.”
Her belly bulged out from her unzipped down coat and she rested her hands on either side of it, feeling the fetus kick against her skin. It was stressed, but alive.
He should have let her anger pass, wait for the mood to lift, for a righter-mind to come back before trying to speak to her. “I can’t do this,” he said.
Her chin tilted down and her eyes narrowed. “Babies sometimes die. Get over it.”