The New Generation of Classic Short Stories

Vol. 15, No. 2

T.A.R.P.

by Emily Ruskovich

A moon-shaped clod of mud by the kitchen door, stomped from the heel of Mr. Foster’s boot, is the only sign that he was here, that he is gone. We are sitting on the linoleum in the tiny hallway of his trailer home, waiting for Ethan to open his door. It’s Ivy’s door, too, but she forgets things like that when we are here; she forgets her role as stepsister and becomes one of us: a little girl in someone else’s trailer. Ivy is barely ten years old and the purple scab under her chin is smooth and round like a wet petal. I imagine peeling it off with my fingernail. It is a nice thought.

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