Bob Thurber

Yesterday I stuffed some words in a bag and gave them to the poor.

That is to say I filled a paper grocery bag with a shredded mansucript and dropped it in a donation bin outside a local mall.

Painted on the front of the huge bin, which resembled a dumpster, was: Shoes and Clothing For The Needy.

But fuck that, I thought. Let the poor dress themselves in nouns and verbs. Let them weave garments for their children based on the things I've said.


    Bob Thurber

Later that night I drive back to her beach house, sneaking in like a thief to eliminate all clues, wiping for fingerprints, washing the dishes we used, pushing through a load of laundry, tidying here and there. Without witnesses, no one suspects the loot I gathered on my early visit, the skill of my entry, the urgency of my departure, or the extent of my cover up.

I vacuum every room except the bedroom. She is hardly breathing, curled like a question mark in the huge bed. She almost appears to be smiling. I kiss her nose once, lightly, then tickle her chin until she gives off a tiny shudder in her sleep. I wait, and I watch her mouth. And at the first whisper of my name I breathe in the dreamy sound she makes. A criminal of the heart, I take back everything. Everything.

Bob Thurber's work has previously appeared in Zoetrope's All-Story-Extra, ELIMAE, Z End Zine, The Melic Review, In Posse, The Providence Sunday Journal, Gargoyle, and Linnaean Street, where he received the Linnaean Street Award for Excellence and Clarity in Writing. Additional work is forthcoming in Winedark Sea, Blue Murder, Cafe Irreal, and a fiction anthology from Agony Press.

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