Hope ran serpentine through the lawn over billows of grass. Moon weight on her feet. Her father roared the lawnmower to life. Pillows of black gas spasmed. Her father’s arms, sweating and round, held up the humid sky. He let the mower idle, click, click, clicking back to nothing. Two sirens cut through the air. Four men walked through the maze of grass and threw her father to the ground. Hope would hardly remember the trial. The faces. The conviction. The judge’s gavel. The long drive to foster care. But she remembered that afternoon, right before the sky came crumbling.
Spencer Nitkey is a writer and researcher living in New Jersey. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Corvid Queen, Short Edition, The Gateway Review, Critical Read, and others.