“Enrique’s Funeral”

In a wood-shaving filled glass box, a pet rat gives birth. We all hope that she will not devour her young. We’ve buried Enrique and suspect that Justin has just smoked crack in the bathroom: he talks too quickly, eyelashes-aflutter, and sweats profusely. He tells us all about that pile of towels still on the bathroom floor, that Enrique would have hated it, so fastidious, that he would have hated that his stubble is still on the sink, little black bits like the scraps of magnetized metal in the old draw-a-beard games. Once he made the Labyrinth, Minotaur in its angular heart, on an Etch-a-Sketch: he was that talented. I open the cake that Lily bought on impulse. She got it, cheap, because it was for Robby’s birthday –nine years old — but apparently Robby didn’t show. The pissed-off baker gave it to her half-price. A plastic surfer in red and yellow hibiscus-patterned trunks rides a Windex-colored sugar wave. People have brought pictures of Enrique, we could make a shrine of Polaroids and computer print-outs and bar-booth quarter-operated black-and-white photo strips. There’s one formal portrait where he vaguely resembles both Tito Puente and Habermas. I wonder if the plastic surfer could be a token on an inadvertant ofrenda. Justin’s sweat threatens to drip onto the frosting.

In the morning, a cousin leaps off a bridge. Some will speculate that she fell looking for somewhere to jump. The place on the surface of the water that embraced her will dissolve her outline instantly, the reverse of the once-developing Polaroid bringing Enrique’s smile into focus, a shining magenta shirt, black slicked-back hair. The rosewater pomade is in the medicine cabinet, still.


Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction
Sort by

“Living In The Burning House”

He had lived in the burning house since he was born. Fifteen frantic years. He kept trying to tell his family that
2019-11-06 23:00:26


“Fire’s Aftermath: Joan and the Pets”

After the fire, Joan received a post from Next Door about free kittens. Looking at the picture of the five kittens
2019-10-25 23:54:42



Bobby and his girlfriend had been going out for four years. They were inseparable
2019-10-07 11:03:05


“Symptoms and Remedies”

I try to interpret the signs of my own body, and think back to a medieval literature class I took in which we
2019-09-30 11:05:53



Through the seventeenth century, Europeans believed ringing church bells would
2019-09-06 23:43:12


“Two Chambers”

I. The boys go out for groceries but come home with matching rifles. “Antiques,” Son
2019-08-26 11:06:59


“Baby Lanes”

“Excuse me. I’m over here in the lane next to you and noticed you’re bowling very well tonight.” “That’s quite
2019-08-07 09:34:00


“Story Dissection”

Here’s all that is needed to dissect the story: Thematic Elements 1) The man loves his wife, as in t
2019-07-10 09:35:19


“Two Flash Pieces”

Linger The alien at the foot of my bed
2019-06-05 09:21:27



So how did I get here…well, okay, where do I start? The strippers. I’m going to start with the strippers. The
2019-05-31 07:55:44


Erika Mikkalo

About Erika Mikkalo

Erika Mikkalo received the Tobias Wolff Award for short fiction, and has appeared in Nimrod, Exquisite Corpse, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Columbia Review, The Notre Dame Review, fence, Another Chicago Magazine, The Chicago Review, and other publications.