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Cow Town Carnival

Mom was pushing 80 past a semi on the wrong side of Madison, and it was one of them numbers with the cows in it, and you could see the faces peering out through the slats. She must have caught them on the periphery, or maybe she got a glimpse of me in the mirror, and she guns it up a few hundred yards or so and then brakes. Hard. Swerves so we’re straddling the midline, and all I hear is a horn and Pen wailing from the car seat, and we sat there for a while. No one came. We got going again eventually, and who the fuck can say where we were headed, but I still dream about it, and in the dream, the truck hits us. Lots of red. Dead within microseconds, but there’s that way time slows down, and I know the cows are up there, floating overhead like clouds, or else maybe flying all panicked like them 38 frames or whatever from Twister, and all I know is Christ. That’s curtains. But maybe there’s a way they don’t ever have to come back down.  

Brett Biebel teaches writing and literature at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. His (mostly very) short fiction has appeared in Hobart, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Masters Review, Wigleaf, and elsewhere. It’s also been chosen for Best Small Fictions and as part of Wigleaf‘s annual Top 50 Very Short Stories. 48 Blitz, his debut story collection, is available from Split/Lip Press.

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