Sometime after midnight a flame flared outside my window, momentarily illuminating his face. He had a cigarette clenched between his teeth. His eyes mirrored the flame, creating three distinct points of light, which all vanished at once, leaving only the orange tip of his cigarette dancing like a bumbling firefly.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble”. Visit BobThurber.net
Today my father is teaching me math.
He takes me down to the beach and shows me a grain of sand.
After I’ve counted for a while, I notice my father’s shadow stretch and begin to disappear.
When are you coming back?
Look, he says, just keep counting.
Cathy Ulrich had to go to the beach once. It was terrible.
His hands touched me in ways you are not imagining but in ways I cannot forget.
Those hands were the first to touch my tiny, ten-fingered, ten-toed body; the same hands that punched a hole in the bathroom mirror, leaving only his anger and his absence to remember him by.
Madison is a MFA graduate student studying Fiction at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She spends her time writing, reading, and watching too many movies, if there is such a thing.