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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Dairy Queen

Story by Jennifer Pashley (Read author interview) December 23, 2010

art by geocam2000

That time your mother crashed the car into the Dairy Queen she had dropped her cigarette and was reaching around on the floor and hit the gas instead of the brake and the car went into the window. It was two am and no one was at the Dairy Queen but we had just been there, high and looming in the headlights of other cars, three of us trapped on the sidewalk, blinded and unmoving. You were carrying the baby in the little bucket seat, swinging it like a basket and we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt up the sides. We were so close when she hit it we could hear it from the hill where we inched sideways to the creek, the impact of metal and glass, a sound you can’t make any other way, like water against water in mid-air. You put the baby on your knees and we slid down towards the water. It was so hot and still we were going to wade. He kept looking around like he did at that age, like he couldn’t miss a thing, his hands balled into fists, and his face, looking, watching what we were doing. There was the crash and we looked up and the baby’s fists moved and you said some idiot. We were in up to our knees then, and you put the baby on your head.

About the Author

Jennifer Pashley is the author of the “seriously out-of-whack” story collection, States, and has more stories appearing in PANK, Mississippi Review, Salt Hill and Los Angeles Review.

About the Artist

More of geocam2000’s photography can be seen on Flickr.

This story appeared in Issue Thirty of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Thirty
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