Something Like Hannah
We were watching Food Network when the world ended.
The children next door were feeding the ducks, the boy standing far back while his sister chased a single goose back into the pond. I had wanted to name our daughter Hannah, if we had her. But there had been mornings, days, and weeks of sickness, always followed by nights of you holding me as I shook, cold and empty. The doctors warned me against trying again, after all we live in such uncertain times. You put your hand on my shoulder in that cold, white office, the same hand that held the remote now. You changed the channel from News to news, from “there is no truth to these threats” to “what is the nature of truth,” finally settling on a screen where duck breasts fried, their skin crackling and bubbles of fat burst-glistening. The girl next door, whom I secretly call Hannah, is trying to get the ducks to eat right out of her palm.
I turned to you and said, “It’s been a long time since we had duck.”
And you said –.
Carleton J. Whaley is Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of The Slag Review. His work has been published in The Long River Review and is forthcoming in Paper Darts.