Image of the forest at night.With wild eyes, my sister presses her small body’s weight against the oven door. The iron stove bucks and knocks around, before going still.

She pulls the woman out while bronze skin still sizzles, touches charred gray hair.

I did this, she says.

In the forest, we walk for hours, but can’t find our breadcrumbs. Between trees, the guttural snarl of wolves, teeth glinting in moonlight.

I shiver, waiting for death.

My sister plants her feet in the mossy dirt. Stilling a tremble, her breath a cloud, she raises fists.

Don’t be afraid, she whispers. I know how to kill.

Eliot Li lives in California. His work appears in SmokeLong Quarterly, CRAFT, Pithead Chapel, and elsewhere. He’s on twitter @EliotLi2.

Photo Credit: Lee Render

3 Responses to “Sister”

  1. Denise Bayes says:

    Wow! Those sizzles and charred hair…Sensory in a really dark way.

  2. This is stunning, Eliot.

  3. Rhonda L Shary says:

    This is gorgeous, Eliot. Perfect final line, perfect economy in the telling. I loved it, am inspired by its technique and emotional impact. Wow, one says, I missed all that layering (of course) the first years of hearing this fairy tale. Really exciting. Thank you for it.

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