Vol. 12 HOME: David Comfort - “The Kiss”

"This is a story about an elderly widow who loses her home during a home invasion, but gains something far greater."—David

She was taped to her high-backed chair at the dining room table. There, in front of the bay window, beside her husband’s military portrait over the mantelpiece. Scattered on the floor was the Sunday newspaper she had just walked up the lane. Lying next to the paper was her cane and her Audubon calendar. She put everything on her calendar. The little white boxes were filled with her meticulous print. She included the weather, when her boys drove home, when she visited the cemetery. 

She was beginning to lose sensation of her right hand now. They had wrapped the tape tighter on this. It had been the first one. She didn’t recall them taping it. When she had opened the back door, carrying the paper, they had been behind it, waiting. Then she heard the explosion. Later, she had opened her eyes, as if from sleep, to the sound of panting behind her.

Now, the tall one was already upstairs, in her bedroom. She could hear the sound of telephones being torn from the walls and smashed. Of lamps falling to the floor. Of her dresser drawers being thrown open. The other one, the shorter one, was standing beside her. He wore a stocking over his face, with three holes. He had kind, gentle eyes.

When his partner disappeared upstairs with the gun, he put his hand lightly on her shoulder. He wore thin white rubber gloves. The medical kind.

"You believe in Jesus?" he said. "You believe he is the Savior?"

She tried to look around again. Behind, her Labrador retriever was lying on the kitchen floor eyes open, legs quivering, blood pouring from his mouth.

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Vol. 12 HOME: Clare Rosean - “Looksee”

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"I’m very much a homebody, and home feels very secure to me. The narrative behind Looksee is a child home alone, concerned that someone may have gotten into the house, or maybe her parents have just returned from their night out. First, she checks to make sure the door is locked, and then looks out the window to see if their car is there.”—Clare

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Announcement! The theme for Vol. 12 is “HOME”

We can’t quite believe it, but here we are, about to wrap up another year. The holidays are upon us and with that comes the usual stress of looming work deadlines, gift shopping, stretched budgets, travel hassles, inclement weather, family visits—well, you name it. But to many people, the holidays means home. Maybe you’re thrilled to finally have some time off of work and sit in your pajamas all day. Perhaps you have plans to visit your parents in your childhood home, or you’ve invited others into your own for a special celebration. Maybe home has good connotations for you. And maybe it doesn’t.

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Whatever home means to you—impending holidays or not—we want to hear about it for Volume #12, the last one for 2012. We’re accepting submissions through Friday, November 30th. Email us at submissions[at]inkwellmag[dot]com! As always, we can’t wait to see what you’ve got.