The Federal Duck Stamp Competition

by Madeline Monroe

Janie Marie Pierce is sobbing over a duck stamp. It is a plane, stupid, run-of-the-mill mallard duck, with a green head and beady, black, unblinking eyes, tucked away in the top corner of a postcard from her grandmother, who is visiting all fifty states and sending her a postcard from every one of them. Only, Janie is awful at collecting the mail, so she’s receiving her grandmother's postcards from Montana, Idaho, Washington, and both Dakota’s at once, and at the top of the postcard from North Dakota is a beautiful but stupid duck on a stamp. Janie can’t stop crying because she recognizes the stamp as the winner of the 2014 Federal Duck Stamp Competition. Janie only knows about the Federal Duck Stamp Competition because her beautiful but stupid boyfriend was obsessed with it before he accidentally drove his car off Highway 68, 27 years ago. Now, on the cold, blue tile of her kitchen floor, Janie Marie Pierce is sobbing over a duck stamp.


Madeline Monroe is currently earning her BFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Her novella "Always Winter" has been published by Wilde Press.