portion of the artwork for Alec Niedenthal's stories

Alec Niedenthal

My father will eat dinner with his gun, or breakfast, when he eats breakfast. As if a utensil, he places it beside his fork, on the table, restraining a corner of his napkin, after work, and he then does not notice it anymore.

My father does not go to work now.

He comes home the same times, but he does not go anywhere, I think.

“Pass this or that,” he’ll say.

He tries to encourage dinner conversation, “Tell me about your days,” but he will never describe his own, or admit to having one.

My mother is not agitated. I think, maybe, she suggested that he come with the gun, for protection, or she strongly does not mind.

The time he fired that gun it was not a disaster. My mother held his head then, in front of us all, and then, later, he took a shower and then he felt somewhat better, I believe.

He will sit on the deck, crossing his legs, and have his gun, and speak to my mother. I believe that is when he tells his day to others, but he tells only her. At those times I am probably working. I think I will soon be pregnant.

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