Matthew Haynes, 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow

Matthew Haynes, 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow



how y'all luckily my name is justice so this is an abbreviated short story in tandem second so we need to notice that the other story is little sibling story is about a dude is lovesick his next-door neighbor's little kid he brings him over to watch Star Trek because there's a storm that's coming in and so they watched Star Trek together and he's making an outfit for the kid and in the morning the kids mother is found being a drowned out sighs just as funny business called the fragrance authorities this was before saw the met up with nanny after her late day shift at the Waikoloa Suites and had four shots of fireball because she could feel herself turning again because a storm blew in in that storm or fissures of the past and before baddies crazy ex Carly approached her in the parking lot pulled her long black hair back into a ponytail and gave sada a right hook so saw the help at her back then watched her fall to the ground and started kicking and kicking and stomping until Maddie was out the parking lot yelling and pushing her away and before she saw spots not stars just thousands of tiny white spots like the snow she imagined fell in places she never been so she ran right past her car onto the whole other road and kept running the whole five miles to get to her son through burning winds repenting rain because he made the thousands of spots disappear when she was 10 the Bubba Khan family watched green sea turtle sun the black sands of the new Google Beach Sava and her two younger brothers wrote skim boards in the surf and mr. and mrs. abakan watched on and wide-brimmed coconut hats eating banana fritters remarking have a list of a family around her parents now gone they hadn't known that the day before an earthquake hit South America that continental shift created a tsunami that traveled through the night how the sirens been working they would have heeded the warning had they been paying attention they would have noticed people to be in and Oahu would take to the sky and the exodus of turtle into the ocean but when the waters pulled back the children cumin and giggled and mr. and mrs. avocado hurry to the shore for a moment the five stood in the hush of the oncoming wave it's 20 feet hidden in the horizon when they turned to run mr. Hakam grabbed one boy and mrs. avec on the other and saw the cat no why has never wanted to know why just stopped short and watched her family continue up past the the car and when the wave hit there was an instinct in her it cling to the trunk of a palm nails dug in teeth buried into the bark eyes closed tightly and that is where she stayed until hours later rescue workers spent the back of her hands at her head and so she opened her eyes and released after saw lived in the Children's Ward it was Hawaii health center where the nurses and doctors would call her a miracle we shake their heads at any possibility that a person let alone a little girl could survive such an event for one year she didn't speak and then one cloudy day the humidity locked in the heat and she said that smells like my mom pointing out the plumeria tree outside the psychiatrist's office through the open window the smell of the very sweetest peach that next year she grabbed along about her brothers and the turtles and her parents and the training of waves that battered her and the tree over and over until there was nothing at 12 she was moved into a county facility for orphaned girls where she painted and drew small pencil books about imaginary vacations her family took those imaginings allowed her to heal enough that at 14 she entered a foster home with the tavella's a spanish spanish filipinos with two young sons and it was as if her family hadn't died that they had made it to the car and sped away just in time transformed by the wind and into different people for a good while she felt comfortable and aids at the dining table and talked about her a great teacher and let the brothers teaser and laughed when they did it's hard to erase a loss harder still to reconcile a pervert don't you want to get better the psychiatrist asked and she would explain that there was always something at the edges of her trying to get in like she was never meant to escape that water let the world could all fall away the psychiatrist would say you have to face your fear and since she did want to get better one Sunday sahabat joined the two Della's to have wound up each the first time she'd come near the ocean in four years the Sun was high and hot and reflected off the white sand that stretched for a half-mile the Adela's gathered a barbecue and grilled pork belly sada laughed the boy is chasing each other with long strands of seaweed she managed to look out of the water and inform him for a moment and she took a deep breath smiled and felt mostly fine until she walked the bathroom sheltered by growth of plumeria trees and as the sweet smell of her mother once brought her how does silence this time it created a sickness and after she smoked in thoughts and drank vodka from the pint bottle and stole her foster moms collar and that all three Vasquez brothers do her in outrigger canoe at the HP rowing club one after the other each coming inside her which left her pregnant at 16 with her boy Amado and he called to sickness further my own but now Mannion has impala paces at her side reaches across the sea rolls down the window and heals Gideon sana doesn't answer rather she lengthens her strides that you saw her from your kitchen window you think she was floating and the man is gone and the light is gone and she is alone in the road seems like the road between where she had been and where she could be and she smiles into the joy of that potential saw to stop short of home balls and on balls her fist calms our breathing that opens the door to her duplex and she looks for a bottle who should be there on the daybed in his baseball cap the blanket pulled tight under his chin but he's not there and the spots are back so she looks into the closet and nothing and she can feel the sickness and though it doesn't make sense she lives up the bed upend the coffee table pitches the nightstand and tears down the curtains she opens the sliding glass door to the patio and there's the ocean usually 10 feet out to pass the rock wall now the waves are pushing up and over and why is she by the sea because her little voice it's what made him feel calm and good and that became her chance to face the dread to come to terms a break he catches her ankles and knocks which the lava rock she feels the sting of salt and the cuts across her forehead and legs and when she pulls herself standing she sees the light from Gary's duplex and hurries to the last over and there is her boy asleep on his couch in his baseball cap of that title under his chin and when she looks real close she sees a faint sleepy smile and that seems like a reckoning the white spot stayed but did not fall and the stars are far away so very far away and she doesn't know if the ocean raises of his arms and pulls her in or if she lays down and resigns herself to the black and really she thinks it doesn't matter

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