When We Decided To Leave It

by Stefanie Freele

We had to bundle all: every single fitted sheet, every tousle, every dish, every book, every item of importance and not. We piled atop the very car that got us there to begin with. We tied with twine and rope and duct tape and shoelaces until our life was a sagging, leaning mound larger than the car itself, like too-big frosting on a teensy cupcake, bound to slide and go over. Which is what happened as we began chugging up the onramp after getting gas. A tearing pillowcase with pointed edges of picture frames slid over the passenger windshield and with that, creeping slowly down toward the wipers, like a drift of heavy jagged snow, we pulled over a curb and stopped near an elm tree, planning to re-tie and maybe reshuffle. And so it began to rain.


Stefanie Freele is the author of two short story collections, Feeding Strays( Lost Horse Press) and Surrounded by Water (Press 53) which includes the winning story of the Glimmer Train Fiction Award. Stefanie's published and forthcoming work can be found in Witness, Sou'wester, Mid-American Review, Western Humanities Review, Quarterly West, Chattahoochee Review, The Florida Review, American Literary Review, Night Train, and Wigleaf.