My phone rang and I picked it up and all I could hear was screaming.
“It was you she called,” Cora said. It took me a moment to understand what she meant. “Do you think I did it?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she said, “I don’t know anything about you.”
LULL, PATTERN, AND PURE BY ERIC BARNES 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 20
Like a lot of people, he supposed, as a child he often dreamt that a man had come to take him away. Arriving in a tall, unmarked brown van, wearing a brown hat and brown uniform, opening the door onto a vehicle holding only large and unmarked cardboard boxes, the man turned to where he stood alone in a gray suburban street, and he remembers his flat-nosed and expressionless face, pencil behind his ear, clipboard in his hand.
He is afraid of UPS trucks.
At thirty-one, it’s a fear he’s learned to enjoy—long-held and familiar, a phobia he finds comfort in as it lingers in the edges of his mind.
A frequent and sometimes all-consuming pastime in the newsroom of The Gazette was the creation of imaginary television shows in which our editor Cora was …