The Drunk and the Magician

by Nan Wigington

Magic, she thought, as her one little one grew into 2 tall glasses, her slugs and swigs, nips and sips filled the vats of her nights and mornings, the limes and cherries and twists became breakfast and lunch, forget dinner. The prestidigitation grew annoying when her daughter's picture disappeared, one minute gilt framed on the mantel, the next a puff of smoke against the bricks, as if she had never had a daughter, never changed a diaper, bandaged a knee, fought about boys, slapped a face, answered a 2 a.m. phone call, cried at a wedding, held a grandchild. It was creepy when her husband vanished, there on the living room couch, eyes shut, mouth open, then not, not behind the curtains, the bookcase, the bed, the refrigerator either. The su-su-su of his breath over his teeth was replaced by sigh-pop of ice expanding, melting in her drink. What happened to the dog was mean, now a yellow mass at the end of a red leash, an amoeba of trot and play, next nothing but blue collar and jangling tags – FRED, IF FOUND, CALL 303-760-2913. The day the walls evaporated, she wanted to grab a gun, kill someone, shout STOP, POLICE, but her fingers faded on the trigger, her voice flew out of her hat like a dove.


Nan Wigington works as a paraprofessional in a Denver K-2 autism center. Her flash fiction has appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, Best Small Fictions 2019, and Idle Ink.