Fiction: The Hill by Laura Huey Chamberlain

The last thing she expects to see, the last thing she wants to see, is this line of boys running toward her on the trail, yipping like wolf pups, their chests bare even in the icy rain, running so easily while she has to fight for every goddamn breath to make it uphill, which should count as a staircase, really, because this hill’s got a climb like nobody’s business, but thank god she squelched her urge to walk, suffocated that whining bitch back before she heard the boys, back before she saw them, because what would it matter, really, if she walked the hill, with no one around to see, and with eight miles behind her it’s not like she’d be wimping out, not like she wouldn’t get all her steps in for the day, but nooo, she can’t walk, not even one little step but who’s she trying to fool, she’s no athlete, everyone can see she might as well be walking, might as well be crawling, she’s going so slow, and let’s face it, even in her best years, even before she starting spitting out babies and her babies grew up and she got fat and old, even then she was never a runner, so now here she is, running up this hill in an ugly raincoat toward a line of yipping boys who are just now cresting the peak, swooping down on her, so young and so full of themselves, the whole goddamn lot of them, and all she can do is keep moving up the hill, stare straight ahead, try hard not to look at them, so hard that she almost misses her cue when the first boy stretches out his hand in a high-five, and then the second, and then the third, and then the whole long line of them.

Laura Huey Chamberlain is a proposal manager in Alexandria, Virginia. Before that, she edited academic journals and books and taught literature and writing at various colleges and universities. Her recent fiction has been published in Crack the Spine and MoonPark Review.

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2 responses to “Fiction: The Hill by Laura Huey Chamberlain

  1. Pingback: Saint Florian’s Sanctuary published at JMWW – Brianne M. Kohl·

  2. Pingback: Quick Reads (October 2018) | A Vase of Wildflowers·

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