Douglas Light

"This dude is the real deal." —Junot Diaz

Scraps: Dogs of Athens

The piece started strong. Then it stopped being so strong. So I stopped too.

***

A tooth. A severed finger. A tuft of hair. The table is littered. 

Zander hacks out a damp laugh that dapples the floor with blood. 

“Something funny?” Alex asks. He stands at the window, staring at the dawn stained street.  

A sharp, cold spring seeps through the open window, carrying dust and the scent of wet earth. The town is quiet. The people sleep or sit in dim rooms with bitter coffee, trying to wake. 

 Cousins, Zander and Alex look identical. 

 Or they did an hour ago.  Zander’s face is a mess of bruises and cuts. His left eye is swollen shut. It pains Alex to look at him.  

Zander’s wrist are bound to the chair with the phone cord. His was the first phone in the neighborhood, something he was proud about—something he told no one of.  Official use. Government use.  The whole neighborhood knew. No other apartment had wires running out the window to the pole.