Net Loss of Two
Last year her mother, her uncle Ed, and her best friend Nancy died within nine
months of each other, almost coincident with her sister’s pregnancy. Like
combing your hair, they quit breathing. Slipped away on an April, an August
and a November night. Diana thought their passing miraculous. No coughing,
no stumbling, no shooting pains in their wake. Every day since she was twelve,
she had read the horoscope from Aquarius to Capricorn. She knew when Mars
ran riot or Venus flirted with Diana’s uncle. She knew the stars would never lie
because they gained nothing from an untruth. Only mortals could score another
night on the town by hiding matchbook covers and credit receipts. When
Nancy left on the heels of her mother and uncle, Diane envisioned her best
friend waving the magic wand, topped with a lily so white it illuminated the
This selection comes from Chella Courington’s chapbook Girls & Women, available from Burning River. Contact Chella to purchase your own copy!
Chella Courington is a poet, fiction writer and educator. She’s the author of six chapbooks: Love Letter to Biology 250 (forthcoming from Porkbelly Press), Girls & Women, Talking Did Not Come Easily to Diana, Southern Girl Goes Wrong, Paper Covers Rock, and Flying South (forthcoming from A Kind of Hurricane Press). Her flash fiction has appeared in several anthologies including Up, Do Flash Fiction by Women Writers. Poetry and stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong, Nano Fiction, The Collagist, and Fourteen Hills. She lives in Santa Barbara, CA, with another writer and two cats and teaches at Santa Barbara City College
Andrew Koch’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bluestem, Connotation Press, Mojo, Rust + Moth, and others. Although a Tennessee-native, Andrew presently lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife and cat while teaching literature and pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University.