portion of the artwork for Shane Graber's stories

Shane Graber

The weather cools. I shouldn’t, but I put in for time off. You Time, Mom calls it.

“How ever will you survive, yuk yuk?” I tell my Processing and Diversions gang Friday.

“Wonderful.” Jenny claps. “Where to?”

I considered the Harry S Truman Presidential Museum & Library, but Lincoln’s is closer. Lincoln comes up more at cocktail parties, too.

“That’s for me to know, har har.”

Drive sucked. Flat, plain, partly green. I have the run of the place since it’s Monday. I’m bored, but this isn’t supposed to be breathtaking, some Evil Knievel jump.

President Lincoln’s hat left last month for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. A loan, this woman tells me.

“He had just the one?”

Sensing my disappointment, she alerts me to 250 other historical artifacts.

“You don’t say.”

I decline the tour, wander alone. I step in the Ford's Theater box. An older gentleman, his cap promoting “American Pride,” passes.


He aims carefully. Mom made me promise to smile, like I’m twelve.

I save the receipt on a $22.99 bronze Lincoln for the office. I’ll deduct it. I buy a blue plush Lincoln Library polar bear. A stuffed penguin sits on Mom’s couch. Now your penguin has a friend, I’ll tell her.

I know. Penguins and polar bears. It can work.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 28 | Spring 2010