F(r)iction Short Story Summer Contest Finalist, 2019
William Faulkner -- Wisdom Competition Semi-Finalist, 2019
Sun comes squiggling through the leaves and when I look up the hot-sparkles go into my eyes and into my nose. I run around the corner from the kitchen before I sneeze. If Ma hears me, she’ll tell me to milk Elsa, our goat. Elsa hates me. We take her milk and sell her babies.
After school, I help Ma with weeding the vegetables and washing the clothes. And then we make the dinner. I wash the rice. Ma washes the lentils, and my sister sits on the ground and washes stones in the dirt.
Ma pushes her wrist against the hair coming out from under her scarf,
--Lina, listen to me. You don’t look at them. You don’t talk to them.
She means those Daesh boys who got sent home.
Me, I don’t care. They went away and now they came back. Lots of boys disappeared that time and most of them didn’t come back.