Big commotion last night. Brianna O’Quinn ripped a shotgun blast into the night on Lookout Mountain. No one knows what she saw. She won’t tell neither. The widows on picket duty say they found her on her haunches, eating dirt. But they must of confused her with Darkish. No one else eats dirt but her.

I’m a man of few words. Back at LaGrange, my mama always told Gib and me, “Quiet, boys.” I listened. Gib didn’t.

But I want to ask Brianna what she seen last night. I want to do what I do best: listen. I sit with her at breakfast. But I don’t know what to say. All the widows look at her queer. But I remain with her. Brianna’s appetite has doubled since last night. She stuffs as much food in her mouth as possible. Eats like a hog, except she chews her food slow. She closes her eyes, which look like they might could tear up.

I want to talk to her, tell her whatever she thought she seen last night is gone. But I cain’t. Don’t have the words.


Jeff Stayton

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