by Jessica Lafortune
It was all over the news, a perfect storm sparking tornado warnings across two-thirds of the country. It had taken out homes in Oklahoma, decimated a small town in Alabama and devastated countless unsuspecting families along its path. Tucked inside her cookie-cutter cul-du-sac, Suzie Homemaker fluttered about unperturbed, sweeping years of miscommunication and mixed signals under the Persian rug on the living room floor, confusing pristine counters, cabinets and floors with a clean conscience, as was her custom. When the sirens went off, she scrubbed, polished, and dusted dutifully around his lifeless body, humming a tune to herself as strong gusts pelted hail on the roof overhead; only when it passed did she begin to panic, pleading with a next-door neighbor to help her make sense of his mysterious disappearance, shrieking and pointing to the chalk-like outline on the sofa, the half-empty can of beer, sure the winds had tossed him into a tree just beyond the fence. “I saw it clearly,” said the neighbor, eyeing tell-tale debris. “You let him go.”
Jessica Lafortune is a teacher, tutor, and freelance writer. She lives in Florida surrounded by humans and canines who (barely) tolerate her obsessive reading and writing habits.