“Seeing Marcella”

I accidentally bump into her grocery cart and that’s when I recognize her. It’s Marcella, from the old neighborhood. She looks startled, as if she can’t recall how the infant she’s holding got into her arms. She must be thirty now. When she realizes who I am—her neighbor from the Second Ward, from back when she was young enough to ride her bike without a t-shirt—she blushes a moment, then nods her head shyly, cradling her infant closer.

“Thomás,” she says, remembering.

Seeing her reminds me of the night Solomon was gunned down in the bungalow that separated her family from mine. El Alacran gang members targeted the wrong spot. Solomon was five and they got him in his sleep, a stray bullet splintering his carotid artery. Marcella would have been about nine. I’d just finished my first quarter at the Institute, still living with mom. Now it’s 1970 and we’ve both moved up, shopping for food here in River Oaks.

Marcella wears a giant rock on her ring finger and when I ask what she’s doing these days, where she’s living, she bobs the sleeping infant against her chest and explains that he is her seventh child. She looks almost happy and she’s clearly provided for, so I leave it at that. But for the next twenty minutes I wander the aisles, indecisive. My stomach churns and I find my way to the parking lot where I can sit in my car, mind reeling.

There isn’t anything in that store to soothe the things I’ve swallowed, things that seeing Marcella makes me taste all over again. There’s Solomon down there, his tiny body like a scar along my stomach lining. There’s the day my abuela died, too soon, my mother wailing at the wake. There’s Nutria getting an abortion and my sister leaving us. The boyfriend who hit her so hard her jaw unhinged—the only man I ever wanted to kill. It all festers, acid hot in my throat, my hands gripping the wheel with so many years gone past and still—I’m driving nowhere, nowhere fast at all.

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

“Aimee’s Alibi”

Aimee Semple McPherson was kidnapped from Ocean Park Beach near Santa Monica on May 18, 1926 by two men and a woman,
2019-10-11 23:51:11


“A Proper Fight”

Meena remembered once seeing a girl in a movie suck on a guy’s bloody knuckles after a fight. The girl had brushed h
2019-09-25 21:03:41


“Rabbit County”

Jeremy said that one of Marsha’s rabbits got away again.  He told me last night while we were sitting in Dino’s wait
2019-08-23 23:40:04



I work from a small room in our loft, and Alice is always after me to get out more. Sometimes in the middle of the
2019-08-12 23:39:35


“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


“A Rest”

There in the Carr Avenue house on an early spring evening in the year of the Great Shedding, the two youngest
2019-07-26 23:32:47


“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


“The Nature of Trees”

Acorns. Smallness. Roundness. Small brown oval things. Spherical objects. Anything small, anything round.
2019-05-10 23:28:01


About Katey Schultz

Katey Schultz grew up in Portland, Oregon and is most recently from Celo, North Carolina. Her debut collection of short fiction, Flashes of War, was awarded Foreword Review's IndieFab Book of the Year and a Gold Metal in Literary Fiction from the Military Writer's Society of America. Katey mentors private students from across the country and travels to teach several times a year at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She lives in a 1970 Airstream trailer bordering the Pisgah National Forest. Learn more at www.kateyschultz.com.