What She Noticed, What She Heard

wig and wallpaperI had a friend in Philadelphia whose name was Rue, like regret. I had to drag her out of her double type of smoke-filled home for whiskey, but public whiskey—at least it was public—and she noticed the roaches climbing up the velveteen wallpaper, skittering about as if they owned the place. We had entered through the Ladies’ Entrance, but what’s the difference, really? She died anyway, alone of heart-sink. “Don’t drink two blocks up north,” the bartender advised. “The niggers swarm there and you’ll find yourself in deep shit.” We shook our heads, felt hatred, and heard him.

 

Kate Hill Cantrill’s first collection of short stories, a mix of flash fiction and traditional length short stories, titled, Walk Back From Monkey School, was recently published through Press 53. She lives in Brooklyn where she runs the Rabbit Tales Reading and Performance Series and is completing a novel.

Photo credit: Beret Olsen

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