It’s True What They Say by Linda Simoni-Wastila

…and when I open my eyes I see what a perfect shot, the arrow stuck in the side of my neck, a fountain of blood sinking the snow like maple sap, and Dave barrels through underbrush, his breath heaves white clouds, he’s lost his hat, there’s a bald spot in back I’d never noticed because even though he’s my little brother he’s five inches taller, and he sinks to his knees, shit, shit, shit, oh shit, then fumbles in his camo for his cell and I laugh, you idiot, you fucking know you can’t get a signal this side of the mountain, but he jabs at the stupid buttons anyway, and then Pa grasps my fingers, odd because he’s never held my hand and he’s dead ten years anyway, and he says with his eyes, it’s time to go, and below spins green and white, this brilliant heat fills me, and I turn to Pa and say, hey it’s true what they say on those tv shows, those people who die and come back, and when he smiles I know I’m dead and it’s okay this peace falls over me, a kind of grace I feel after I mow the hayfield all sweaty and happy, and when I think of Marisa, the swell of her belly, and I wait for the tug, the one that yanks me back to Dave blubbering over me in the cold bloody snow, I wait and wait, but Pa grips me harder and…

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “It’s True What They Say by Linda Simoni-Wastila

  1. Linda, this is awesome. I’m amazed that they occasionally let put my stuff up here. Thank you for sharing your wonderful prose with us.

  2. Randal Houle

    O M G! This has got to be one of my favs from you (but that is so hard to say). The form, first: talk about In Media Res. There’s so much here. I don’t want to say too much and ruin it for others. Amazing.

  3. Catherine Davis

    Wow. So wow.

  4. Len

    holy, holy crap. intense and perfect. i salute you.

  5. Perfect, and love the … at the beginning and ending, great way to give the feeling of flowing from one state into another. I’m jealous.

  6. Thank you all for reading and your enthusiastic response to this story. This came in a flash, while walking in the woods through 10 inches of North Carolina snow. We stumbled upon a deer stand, the night before we’d watched bio stories about people who’s hearts gave out, but lived to tell their afterlife stories, and voila. I wrote it 4 days later in about 15 minutes, but used the time in between to mull it out. I appreciate your reading very much. Peace…

  7. “a kind of grace I feel after I mow the hayfield all sweaty and happy”
    That’s a gorgeous line. Nicely done!

  8. Kim Hutchinson

    Awesome, Linda. Love your work, and this one is stellar.

  9. Striking stuff! enough said.

  10. My favorite bit was when her father held her hand… when he has never held her hand before… and the close to that image – when he smiles, I know I’m dead. Lovely!

  11. Ah, thank you all for reading. I appreciate your comments very much. Peace…

  12. Oh, yes! read this at fn’at and love it again. Really good story!

  13. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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