I received my contributor’s copies of the spring 2012 issue of Parcel today. It’s edited, designed, and produced in Lawrence, Kansas, “dedicated to readers with a love of the elegant, tangible, hand-delivered book,” and printed with soy-ink, and opening the envelope took me back to the deckle-edge, big, classic children’s hardback books I remember opening with extra care for their clean, new, permanent scent.
My story is called “Apples Horses Brides.” Here are the first few paragraphs:
By August I could only sleep at steep angles against three pillows, midday, when the town dozed off for blocks. The window fan helicoptered me to a grass hut, and reporters in flak jackets filed the evening news from the high school lab where Dennis and I had met. Our teacher bent over me, horn-rimmed, tortoise-shelled, and I didn’t know what I had done.
In the morning when Dennis woke beside me I had been knotted awake for hours. Buses creaked toward Schenectady and the triplicate perfume of invoices I never had to fingernail apart again, he said. None of the names we liked—Lisa, Peter, Jennifer; Michael, Paul, Christine—belonged to anyone.
“How about Chet?” he called from the kitchen. I heard him: verse, refrain, bridge: proud Mary keep on boiling—boiling. He peered around the door frame, his moustache a drooped grin.
“You goose,” I said.
“What?” he said. “I’m singing you the perfect egg.”
When he brought the toast, white, with marmalade, the yolk was cooked through solid.
“Is it okay?” he said.
Thanks, Parcel editor Kate Lorenz, designer Justin Runge, and publisher Heidi Raak!