Piles of mail and past due bills scattered all about
Empty boxes, notebooks, and bottles of pills all sprawled throughout
All part of her identity to claim and control
The constant source of structure she will never let go.
Worn and torn, it represents both her burdens and her strengths.
Debra was inspired to write this due to the many people who are diagnosed with Paranoia who walk around with a bag full of their belongings. Many people ridicule these people. It’s part of the stigma that others judge based on what they see, instead of the deeper reason for this need.
The other survivors kill the animals and cut down the mango trees to build fires to cook the carcasses. No longer starving, they laugh and spit gristle, their greasy chins shining in the firelight.
In the peacock cage, I pick up a feather and put it in my lover’s hair.
Scott Ragland has an MFA in Creative Writing (fiction) from UNC-Greensboro. Before taking a writing hiatus, he had several stories published, most notably in Writers’ Forum, Beloit Fiction Journal, and The Quarterly. More recently, his work has appeared in apt, The Conium Review, NANO Fiction and Newfound Journal, among others. He lives in Carrboro, N.C., with his wife and two dogs. His three kids have left the nest.