The Ins and Outs

Go up the left side and stay by the bushes then retrace your steps they whisper this like Old Lady Carlson can hear them from inside her house where she sits probably masturbating in a rocking chair back and forth in and out listening to Frank Sinatra dreaming of days when she was younger and had a friend like my sister does who did the ins and outs for her I spied them one day (my sister and her friend) an image I try to forget but one that moistens that little spot between my legs anyway I stand in the fading light thinking this isn’t a good idea Sam always panics he always forgets which is why I know this is fucked when he starts across the street Ted says don’t worry Sam I’ve got a pistol in the glove I look at my brother Joe and say he’s kidding right rumor has it Old Lady Carlson has a fortune hidden in her basement which is what Sam has been sent to investigate the window situated between two overgrown hedges and partially covered by weeds is always lit we imagine she spends her nights down there stroking her fortune Ted says she’s saving to bribe Saint Peter on judgement day they laugh but Joe should know if anything goes wrong mom and dad will cut off his pecker because everyone knows he’s in and outing our neighbor Christie he tells me nothing’ll happen Sam crawls to the window we watch breathless as he peers inside until we see Old Lady Carlson standing all sentinel like down by her porch Sam get back here Joe says hands flying Sam wide eyed like a coon looks at us no Sam no the other way Joe and Ted are yelling but Sam forgets Sam panics Sam always does the wrong thing in these situations so he doesn’t come back the way he went he speed-crawls straight forward until he collides with Old Lady Carlson’s cracked flip-flopped feet he lifts his head and looks up the barrel of the rifle she has pointed down at his face run Sam run we all shout and he does down her hill across our lawn and in the back door Joe better hope for his pecker’s sake that Sam doesn’t tell mom and dad Ted’s an idiot but I hope one day he’ll in and out me.

Constance Malloy is the author of Tornado Dreams, 2018 TEN16 Press. Her stories have been nominated for Best Microfiction 2021 and Shortlisted at Fractured Lit’s Micro Fiction Prize. Follow her at and on Twitter @ConstanceMall13.

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