Welcome To Cullingstown

A new project that I thought I’d share the first chapter with you. 

1. The wind tickles my neck, fingers running down my collarbone, unbuttoning my denim jacket, not like you do, but in a way that sends me down the streets and away instead of towards. February is a chilling month.

Edna, the former librarian with pale grey eyes and skin that barely holds her upright,  stands in her bay windows. Her blue clapboard house with its small front porch is on the one and only corner in town, if we can even call it that. The tourists do but me, no, it’s just home, for now and for ever. I’ll be buried on the hill with my friends if not family. Maybe. If I’m lucky enough to die here.

Edna’s in her black housecoat again, arms spread out as if to reach for me, cover me with wings and hold me close. I shiver at the thought. Her breath is a dog’s breakfast. She pushes her frail torso against the glass, embracing the chill wind that must seep through those single panes that we’d planned to replace before the winter.

A black smoke creeps out from her metal chimney, the one wrapped with aluminum foil to keep the aliens out. Another spring gust from the Rio Grande valley to the west of us catches my breath and I turn my back on everyone, everything, huddled inside thin cotton and wishing I’d stayed home. I need to get going, I tell myself, tucking back in the cotton shirt to keep the wind’s fingers from teasing my skin. I glance back at Edna’s but she’s not there. A stain fogs the glass, as if a crow had flung itself, splattered, feather and cold breath glued to the dirty window.

 

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