In the midsummer, the boy watched between the glassware of a charity shop and saw her. The woman was in a slicker. It wasn’t raining, but July. She’d pulled over on the side of the road in front of a dead sow. The carcass had been there for some days; its brand was black and the eyes were wells. There had been a magpie in the jack pine before, but he was not there now. The boy stared from the shop, and she made her raincoat arms like big dark boughs. She took up the swine, slid the body into her bed, wiped three maggots from her chest. Then she closed the tailgate, left.
The boy was embarrassed. He returned some knit ties to their hanger, though he had already made his mind on them. In their place he gathered three mammal statuettes from a shelf, anatomies all porcelain. He brought them to the counter, eyes down. Two dollars and ninety cents.
Evan Nicholls attends James Madison University (‘20) and is from Fauquier County, Virginia. He serves on the Prose, Poetry, and Art Committees for JMU’s literary magazine, Gardy Loo, and has pieces appearing in CHEAP POP and Penny among others, as well as forthcoming in The Jellyfish Review. Follow him on Twitter @nicholls_evan