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Fiction: 1950s

Fiction of the Day

Guests

By Mary Terrier

The month after our mother died, our father began bringing women home. It felt like a behind-her-back kind of operation. “I’m going to have a guest over tonight,” is what he would say. 

David and I stayed out in the living room, turned up cartoons, burned toast, kicked our feet up over our heads. I worked long division. At some point a woman would emerge to drink a glass of water or fix her hair in the kitchen window’s dark reflection.

The guests left behind nubs of lipstick in gold tubes and leftover food, paper pouches of cold french fries, chicken legs in clamshell Styrofoam boxes. They left tampons blooming through toilet paper in the trash can, like tiny mice they’d killed, the cotton tails pink with blood.

 

Les Saltimbanques

By Marvin Schiller

From a Boardwalk bar-and-grill dance music sweetened the seaweed-stained air. Lev imagined the bar’s cool haven—the beer smell and the happily subterranean, unfunny interior he had begun to frequent with his son, Milton, who was now gone from home for the first time. Lev had been stunned by the boy’s enlistment in the service, and still, after eight months, was unable to figure out why the boy had not at least, at the very least after all the years of comradeship, consulted him.