An Absence

Three days after the wake, Deer was still eating the cold cuts left over from the platters and scraping the bottom of the bowl of macaroni casserole. She hadn’t left the house since it happened, hadn’t washed, hadn’t changed out of her black dress.

There was a heavy, imposed silence in the house, and she didn’t want to break it, so she shuffled softly from room to room, lying two fingers against a spine of a book, or wiping them through the dust on a shelf.

A fly buzzed and bumped at the overhead light. She stood underneath and stared.


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