An empty house lived at the end of his street. Trees like claws stopped other kids, as if they grabbed ankles and wrists and hoods of sweatshirts. He found a way there by looking somewhere else, sidewalk-crack-sidewalk, then dead grass. Up. White oval shapes lingered behind black windows. In. A slamming back door echoed staple-guns putting up his HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD posters. Three years later, after his classmates had grown into pimples and too-short jeans, he came out, hollow-eyed and grinning. He struck the trees, also, with a wet axe, his body now a man’s body, sweating hard. They took him to a hospital, depressingly white and clean and smelling like medicine, but he still saw the house by not looking. When the demolition cranes came, they were like hands that scooped shingles off the roof, the strange Victorian spires crumbled, broken plaster and creaking timbers screamed, undefined white shapes tumbled down in a cloud of dust. After, he went home with a face blank as a sheet of paper, something so normal and unwritten, and, in the night, his memories clutched at him, as if they grabbed ankles and wrists and hoods of sweatshirts.
Karen Bovenmyer is a recent graduate from Stonecoast’s MFA in popular fiction. Her dark fantasy and scifi horror stories have appeared in Erin Underwood’s Pop Fic Review, Paul Genesse’s The Crimson Pact series, Bonnie Stufflebeam’s Art & Words Show, Red Rose Review, Devilfish Review, and Crossed Genres magazines.http://www.karenbovenmyer.com/SO NORMAL AND UNWRITTEN by Karen Bovenmyer,