Alejandro de Gutierre
I’ve gotten good at making split-second decisions. With Hatazúa as a master, it is a necessary skill. When he returns home: how is he walking? Does he move in a straight line, or veer left and right? Does he walk in silence, or does he speak to himself? Depending on his walking and talking, you can tell if he is going to go to bed, or pull me up from my mat. You can’t tell these things until he is close to the house, but if he gets too close, it might be too late. The biggest clue is the talking: when he mutters loudly to himself then you know he is going to grab your hair and pull you from sleep. That is when I must make a split-second decision—to stay, or to run.
- Second Place in SFS 6: Green Light
My sister Gisela had already moved out of Portland so it was just me and mom when dad died—five years ago this month. I had my own place back then, but naturally I spent a lot of time at mom’s house when it happened. We would play the piano together or watch Gilmore Girls, but when I would start to cry, she would just sit there watching me for a little bit before standing up and silently excusing herself. She didn’t shut down or stop living or overcompensate with work or drinking, the way people sometimes do. She just wasn’t available.
The Bovine of the Vanities
I stand at the entrance to the chicken coop, pressing my muzzle to a spot of hens’ blood on the door frame. My salivating becomes uncontrollable. When Kenny appears, I pretend to study the latch. “Didn’t master lock up?” I ask him.
That's Not Right, Guy
Dawn breaks, crows scavenge, weeds strain through cracks in the concrete. A sooty haze chokes the air, tendrils of black smoke rising from the wildfires that scorch the remaining wilderness. Within an hour, heat will make a crucible of the megacity of Cascadia.