Sunday Stories: “It’s Hard to Say”

"It's Hard to Say"

It’s Hard to Say
by Claire Hopple

The fastest recorded escape from a straight jacket while underwater is 22.86 seconds. I’d like to say I still remember that from when you told me. When your voice became flatter and more hollow like it was trying to escape from its own straight jacket. But I had to look it up.

It’s noble you tried for that Guinness record for however many years and just got really close. Though I don’t know if or how you get over such a thing.

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You Never Know

cropped image of bullets

You Never Know
by Amy Kiger-Williams

1978

My dad keeps a rifle in the coat closet in the laundry room. I don’t know why he has it. He doesn’t like hunting or fishing like his father does. He likes Captain Beefheart and Mad Magazine and British racing cars and Monty Python and wearing aviator sunglasses and playing with chemicals in his photographic darkroom in the basement. I cannot imagine a time when my father has ever fired this gun, and I never ask him why it’s there or what he’s done with it. But I take it out of the closet when my parents aren’t home. I take it out of the closet and inspect it, its simple design, the metal barrel, the length of it. I am afraid to touch the barrel, but I do, I touch it with my finger tip, just tapping it lightly as if it’s on fire. 

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