Pensée #12

Conor Madigan

Three sat on screened porch: a brother, his brother, and his redhead wife Helen. Silence firmed after what her brother spoke about their brother in the service. As allowed speech by humanity, Helen, unlike men in these moments, broke grief and said, “He wouldn’t do that.” She drank. “He’s just a boy.”

    “Her intuition may be on, but,” said her short brother, “we know better.”

    “Indeed,” her drunken husband responded.

    “What have I missed,” her statement more than question. The men stared and remembered him, how his hair cowlicked, how he taught children card games incorrectly, how he beat their mother terribly one morning as she hung out his bed things.

    “He’s a drinker,” said her husband.

    “And beat a prisoner to death?” Helen took off her hat and fanned herself, placed her thin porcelain white hand upon her breast.

    “And besides that, he had pimples. Bad pimples.”

Conor Madigan writes short fiction and novel length works at his home in Evanston, Illinois where he studies short fiction forms and currently reads Henry Green's work. Other writing can be found in The New York Tyrant, No Posit, Storyglossia, Corduroy MTN, Lit Up Magazine, and elsewhere on the web and in print.