Peppers

by Logan Monds

The night after she and her mother found a dead man in the pepper garden, Camila couldn’t sleep. The man was crawling beneath her bed like a broken arachnid. Hunched in the closet. Clinging to the ceiling, a dusty moth. She refused to open her eyes, fearful tears and gasps crowding with her beneath the covers as she hid. If she was attacked, her mother could only run in with a baseball bat and incoordination. Her father had a gun, but it was in the car, and he was in the car, and the car was somewhere, had been for the past three nights.

In the morning, she asked, “When will Papa come home?”

Her mother scraped the bottom of the cracked bowl of tortilla dough with her unpainted nails, cuticles drawn tight to the beds like kicked sheets. “He will come home when he feels better. Why, has someone asked?”

“What do we do about the man?”

 

To read this piece in its entirety, view our Fall 2016 issue by clicking here.