Flash Fiction: What I Wish She Knewby Brian McVety

Because I used to steal communion wafers after mass and let them stay stuck to the roof of my mouth when he closed the door to the emptied church, and because Jane from across the hall has noticed that I haven’t changed my Batman flannel pajama pants all week, and because I once almost killed a man who was crossing a road he shouldn’t have been crossing, and because I never tell myself the truth since the truth is always the last place I want to be, and because I can’t eat fish without feeling their scaly presence swimming inside of me, and because I still think it will be him calling when the lights are off and motes of dust have settled themselves for the night, and because I didn’t kill the man but did kill his poodle, and because Jane got the super to open my door last week when she thought she heard screaming but was actually the whine of my vacuum struggling to inhale an empty bag of Cheetos, and because every Friday my mother would only serve cod in order to recognize His sacrifice for the miracle of our being, and because I haven’t had a pain pill in four hundred and seventy-two days, three hours, and four minutes, and because in fourth grade Mrs. Madsen said that crying is only what my sister was allowed to do, and because every time I close my eyes I still see its beady, black eyes recognize betrayal, and because Jane watched my vacuum cinder and smoke like the conflagration that is my life, and because I still remember how dry the wafers made my mouth no matter how much wine he gave me after, and because there wasn’t a thud but a spider-web shatter that made me wish it was me or the man or God or my mother but most of all him instead of that damn dog, and because I can’t step outside to marvel at my breath swimming through a frigid, winter air and because, once, just once, I want to know what it feels like to transform into the unknowable, I have to look through my peephole at the new vacuum that Jane has left me.

Brian McVety (he/him) lives in Longmeadow, MA with his wife and three daughters. His fiction has appeared in Variant Lit., Reckon Review, Litro Magazine, Arcturus, Tiny Molecules, Flash Fiction Magazine, and elsewhere. He can be followed on Twitter @bmcvety.  

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