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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Kathryn Rantala

The old owners left the heavy thick curtains that mimicked her memories of green. She was alone with him. They looked out the window. It was all hers now. Horses turned with the wind on top of the house and in the stable yards.

She held the drape aloft like an eyelid. Sometimes she knew where she was and sometimes she could not name it for herself.

He framed himself in the window, aware of the photography of the moment. If he were about to speak, no angels trumpeted it, no animals fled to the bush. The window spotlit a small area below them; the air hung in the air, dust in the dust, and someone would have to say something soon.

Her shoes weighed on her feet, the lamp-cast shadow of him weighed on her arm. She knew she could lose him, she did not know if she wished to. He was not Gilbert, she was not Anne Marie. There were little sticks in her veins that washed toward her fingers and vibrated.

She turned toward him with a heaviness in her that held down her blood until it would nearly burst and said, yes, if you can obtain the moon for me, yes, please do. It is another thing I want.

She did not look at him, nor he at her. He inventoried the house: the trough worn in the stair, the squeal of reluctant doors, furniture so pliant and full that rising from it is difficult.

Please get it for me. He touched her at the elbow. His mouth considered his moustache. He thought of his career in the constabulary, of Roberts, the young English patrolman; his hairless shoulders, his small feet.

Yes, he said, of course, of course.

Neither noticed the fire climbing the stairs. Neither saw the animals rampant in the yard, more white than eyes. Nor did they regard the miles of dry goods surrounding them.

In a short while, they could not avoid anything.

In the barracks a boy cried out in his sleep.

Kathryn Rantala is founder and co-editor of Snow Monkey, and has published widely in print and online. Her book, Missing Pieces, is available from the publisher, Ocean View Press, or via the Publications link on the Snow Monkey website: http://www.ravennapress.com/snowmonkey