Stop It

Flash Fiction by Kimi Traube

Stop It:

There are days the past sneaks up on her—rising from the streets; garbage rotting in August heat. Memory is a form of suffocation, a stench that knocks you off your feet. Here’s what she’s remembering now: a concrete shack off some highway, selling fried shrimp hours and hours too far from the sea. They had already stopped loving each other by then, but they weren’t done pretending. Even when love goes rancid, it’s hard as hell to throw it out. She remembers the pink vinyl tablecloth, the unbearable heat, the way he pressed his lips together and stared right through her. A television bolted to the concrete wall blasted The Sixth Sense on dubbed cable. “Yo veo a los muertos,” whispered Haley Joel Osmond in childish desperation; she ripped the greasy heads off every one of her shrimp, squishing their black eyes under her fingernails, and thought: me too.

Kimi Traube is a writer and a translator in her second year at Columbia’s M.F.A. program. Her translation of Juan Villoro’s “Mayan Dusk” can be found in the Fall 2013 issue of Bomb Magazine.

Featured Image photograph by E.B. Bartels,

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