TWISTED UP by Jesse Eagle

July 19, 2018 by RJ

I watched my sister brush her teeth with her finger and spit the toothpaste in the sink. Her gums never bled and, unlike mine, her teeth were white. We left the bathroom light on for the next kid and went down to the dining room, where we sat at a table with two other girls and ate breakfast. One of the girls only ate applesauce. She wore the clear kind of nail polish and had a birthmark shaped like a pirate key on her neck. She was new at the home. She told us she’d been living in a sinkhole for three days before anyone good found her. She said everything about her hurt. “I did get to feed some raccoons though,” she said. The other girl at the table folded up her pancakes and shoved them into her wide-open mouth like a dentist would a drill. Her name was Sammy. She had a Walkman with big, fat, earfoam headphones and sometimes she’d let me listen to her music, and she always watched my face as I did. She liked to see what music could do. “That song made you look like a twisted up penguin,” she said. Or, “That one made you look just like a baby again.” Or, “I could tell you weren’t even trying to hear that one.” I told her I liked any song with a piano, so she’d rewind those for me, over and over.

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Jesse Eagle edits the online journal DOGZPLOT.

 

Editors note: For the next four weeks I’m featuring the short fiction of author Jesse Eagle. Jesse knows solid short fiction, having edited the legendary online journal DOGZPLOT for the past several years. This is the first of four stories that will appear over the next month here at Revolution John. 

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