THOUGH SALLY WANTS TO KNOW EVERYTHING, THERE ARE SOME THINGS SHE CAN’T QUITE REACH
but she is always multiplying, like a rabbit. In this version of the universe, Sally is only nine years old but she is always afraid, afraid of food poisoning, of losing her sense of smell, of screwdrivers that twist in the night. Evenings, she sits on her couch and crunches a husk of corn, filling the carpet with yellow shed, she scoops powder and fills a bowl to the brim before throwing herself down a chute as a form of prayer. Sally lives in a house with a window too small to climb through. There’s a snake in her boot, but she doesn’t know it yet. Sometimes there is a girlfriend beyond the window. The girlfriend’s fate and Sally’s are intertwined very closely.
Sally will find the snake when the storm hits.
Sally likes to writhe and sometimes even writes.
At midnight Sally will go blue all over and maybe even grow a beard.
(Sally is allergic to the night.)
The sad thing is if the universe had wrinkled differently all those millennia ago now Sally might be the snake, or maybe the girlfriend would be. For the girlfriend’s fate and Sally’s fate and the snake’s fate are intertwined very closely. Sally has peely feet and there is skin left over in the boot. The snake feeds on it because what else could it do? It grows larger despite everything Sally has done to shrink it. Outside the wind is picking up and Sally peers through the window, looks fervently, watches the grasses wave in the wind. She unzips an air mattress. She puts herself inside it, in and between the soft duckling down. Sally is not superstitious but still she puts salt all around her body in little white heaps. One day Sally will be forced to eat all the salt.
Things grow larger even when we don’t want them to.
When the storm begins to splutter, Sally finally bunks down. She sinks. She wishes. She eats an orange, one of the ones that rained from the sky, and thinks about everything she has lost.
Abigail Chang is a writer based in Taipei, Taiwan. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Half-Mystic, Moon City Review, the Cortland Review, the Citron Review, the Shore, Gone Lawn, Gulf Stream, Parentheses Journal, and elsewhere. Find her at twitter @honeybutterball
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