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The Sun Magazine

Fiction

Alternate

Before Cat and I became a couple, before we even knew each other, we were a team: knocking on strangers’ doors to bring them Barack Obama’s tidings of hope. Everyone in Brooklyn was already voting for him anyway, so they just cheered us on and thanked us for our service. There was a precoital vibe, a tingling anticipation of victory.

Mercy

Jimmy nods toward his tow truck, and Davis gets in the passenger seat. Sliding in beside him a minute later, Jimmy offers coffee and some kind of airy sweet, the exact right thing. This is how a moth must feel when it finally gets to the light: warm inside and out.

Victory Forge

He is six years younger than you, and, although he’s over six foot now, you think of him still as “the boy.” He takes to the military quickly, memorizing the Soldier’s Creed, believing the army religion that all things can be improved.

Show Business

It was raining outside and cold; we were in the middle of a dark November on the Lake Plains of New York State. Inside the movie theater I was drunk on cheap beer, and you were holding me.

It Must Have Been Beautiful, But Now It’s Gone

I told Alex that, even though I’d gotten kicked out of etiquette school, I’d actually learned how to be a lady from our grandmother, and that it had nothing to do with how you get out of a car or set a table, but with how you treat people: how you look at them when you’re talking, and whether you actually listen when they try to tell you something important.

Walter Lee Is Home From Vietnam

We all lurched forward when Mama braked and the car crunched to a sudden stop midway up our gravel drive. Following her gaze, we stared next door at the crisp green lawn of the Lee family. A wooden sign with red and blue letters hung across their side porch. It read, Welcome Home Walter, with small white stars across the bottom.

Time Capsule

My sister Melanie won’t let me help with the time capsule we’re making. Four years older and in junior high now, she likes to boss me around. She’s searching the attic for things to put in the box when I give up and head down the stairs. I take the last three steps in one giant jump, then wish someone had seen me.

Taking Care

Now that our mother’s living alone has started to give everyone pause, my siblings and I are gearing up for the battle over what to do next. She will not be asked for her opinion.