On to the Next

by Ethan Swage

Ten pins, nine down. You hate bowling, but you bowl today — especially today — and your ball is in the return rack, waiting. She steps in front of you, head cocked, fists on hips, her customary sister-in-law simper now twisted into a sister-in-law scowl. "Your wife, my sister, is in the hospital," she says, "in labor," and with shoulders shrugged she demands, "What gives?" You grab your ball, leer her out of the way, and then wind up and release. You savor that hollow pock! as your ball topples the last pin, and then you whisper, "It's not mine," in your soon-to-be ex-sister-in-law's ear, toppling her as well.


Ethan Swage is a New Jersey–based writer/artist/photographer whose work has appeared in Flashshot, The Legendary, Everyday Weirdness, DiddleDog, and 50 to 1, and is forthcoming in Eclectic Fiction.