a short story by Felicia Sullivan
([email]felsull [at] hotmail [dot] com[/email])

One Tuesday morning, Claire Foster’s mother died. There had been rumors. Sam Johnson, who delivered the early edition of the Daily News, would see her stumble in heels too high, white vinyl skirt creeping up her thighs, edges ripped, snagging on fishnets — coming off the Eastbound 5:51AM train from Manhattan. Kate Taylor, during her morning jog, would spurt past Diana Foster and pause, “Are you okay?” Kate squeaked, out of breath in her pink parachute-jogging suit, matching fanny pack and stereo headphones. Scratching her arms, skin gathering under jagged fingernails, Diana would mutter a drunken “Uh-huh” and then trip and fall onto her lawn. “There were definitely needle marks,” Kate speculated to cashiers at the local supermarket. People in my town loved a good story. “I didn’t want to help her up,” Kate had whispered to Betty Samson while they were nestled under a scalding hot dryer, hair tightly rolled in sky-blue plastic curlers. “You just never know!” My mother delivered these stories to my father every evening like the late edition of the news.

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