Quisling

by Lauran Strait

"Such little ones this time,” Elizabeth says, frowning as she fishes doves from dry ice inside the cooler. She lays the flock out on strips of foil in three rows of three — a mini cemetery — atop the kitchen counter, then slides one strip into a patch of light. The sunbeam limning her wrinkled knuckles seems to emphasize her age in painful juxtaposition to that of the featherless baby bird. Sighing, Elizabeth solemnly crimps and uncrimps the foil strips around all but the suntanning dove, readjusting and fussing over the shrouds until each is airtight; now they can be entombed in her upright freezer, next to the neighbor’s cat. "Only two hours," Elizabeth coos to the thawing bird. "Should I eat you with rice or potatoes?"

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Lauran Strait's work appears in more than fifty literary reviews, anthologies, journals, and e-zines. Featured on NPR's literary show, Word By Word, she's written a few novels and won an occasional writing contest or two. She edited for the sci-fi print magazine NFG, for The Gator Springs Gazette, and currently is the managing editor of the column section at Moondance Magazine. She teaches Techniques of Commercial Fiction and conducts writing workshops throughout the Tidewater area of Virginia. Most people think she's lazy as hell. (They're right!) Click here to visit her website.