The Day They Sold Deucey
Henry’s eyes cavern dark in disbelief, his smile shades a faded frown. His white five-and-dime t-shirt mucked down to his groin from where he cuddled Deucey, his muddy goat-hug an apology, until father told him “let her go.” His knees knock together like a pair of chickens that back away from danger. He won’t say cheese.
Kaye stands tall as two fenceposts, proud to pose. Shoulders taut from raking steer manure, like her father taught her, leaving traces on her face and hands. Her hair plaited in two blond braids skinny as sticks, then pinned over her head like a cock’s comb. A princess’s crown, her mother corrects her curtly. She clutches the thighs of her overalls, stretches their sides to curtsy. Pantleg slits like the holes in hens where the eggs emerge, spilling into the nest, or breaking on the ground if they’re unlucky. The hens peck away at the shell and muck, unaware the egg was once their chick.
After 15 years in startups, Jill Witty decamped to Florence, Italy, where she is writing her first novel. Her short fiction has appeared in Atlas & Alice, Defenestration, Reflex, and Flash Fiction, among others. Connect with her at jillwitty.com or on Twitter @jwitty.
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