Grace tried the whole marriage thing. It lasted one night. When your husband and his richer-than-God family turn out to be bride-sacrificing Satan worshippers, the taste of marriage turns rancid. Now she doesn’t want commitment. She has friends for family. Men are for hook-ups in bathrooms, closets and coat rooms. Hidden places where she can relax in her yellow high top Chucks and skirt sans underwear. Ready to bolt at the first sign of trouble. No backstories, no awkward silences. Only tension and release. Tension and release. Sometimes they ask about the hole in her hand, the one that never healed right from that bullet hole and the rusty nail as she scrambled out of the goat pit. She says, you should see the rest of me. But they never do. The adrenaline blurs out the scars.
Chelsea Stickle lives in Annapolis, MD with her black rabbit George and a forest of houseplants. Her flash fiction appears in CRAFT, Gone Lawn, Tiny Molecules, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and others. Breaking Points, her debut chapbook, is available from Black Lawrence Press (October 26, 2021). Read more at chelseastickle.com and find her on Twitter @Chelsea_Stickle.