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Story by Tim Fitts (Read author interview) September 18, 2017

Art by SmokeLong Quarterly

Little Frankie showed us a space in the attic where you could watch his sister shower. Marlon and I were twelve, and Frankie’s sister, Anita, was fourteen and had already turned into a woman. The view was limited, with only a thin slit of light allowing your eyes to really discern between tile and skin, but if she moved around enough, your brain could piece together an image. Plus, we surmised that she stood with her back to us. While Marlon and I tried to telepathically instruct her to move about, Frankie told us a story about Anita, as if to provide some background noise for our perversions. When she was seven, she had awoken to the sound of boots on linoleum and unrecognizable whispers. Already an avid hunter, she blasted the first intruder in the face and the second in the chest with a .410 gauge shotgun. The third, a belly wound, was left on the floor, alive, but making sucking sounds when he breathed. Little Frankie said he guarded the belly wound while his father and Anita went to get the cops.

And then it happened. Anita turned around and moved side to side while she worked shampoo into her hair. It wasn’t a lot of movement, but enough. I moved in for a better view, and Marlon told me to sit still or she would hear us. “No,” Little Frankie said. “She can hear everything.”

About the Author

Tim Fitts works and lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children.

Tim Fitts serves on the editorial staff of the Painted Bride Quarterly and is a member of the Liberal Arts Department at the Curtis Institute of Music.

His fiction and photography have been published by journals such as The Gettysburg Review, Granta (online), Day One, the New England Review, Shenandoah, among others. His collection of short stories, Hypothermia, was published in 2017 by MadHat Press.

This story appeared in Issue Fifty-Seven of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Fifty-Seven

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