Three stories by Katie Quinnelly

That One Song by Ana Hoy
January 17, 2018
Memories of a Bloodless Sisterhood by Christine Hopkins
January 19, 2018

 

Josh

 

Josh smells like the oranges he peels for his daughter. He sits at a red light at the intersection of Francis Scott Key and Dream, and watches as everyone else gets out of their cars and walks on their knees toward a grassy outcrop. His eyes follow one old man in shorts whose knees are being lodged full of rocks. Josh winces. He swears if he makes it through this, he’ll call home. He rubs his hands together like a praying mantis to make it official.

 

Hazel

 

Today the four-year-old Hazel, wise as she is, told me that Aria had a loose tooth that she never ever wiggled or messed with or even touched with her tongue, not once, and then one day it fell out anyway! On her birthday! While her mom was lighting the candles!

 

Coffee Shop

 

At work I’m a woman who gets a lot of gifts from strange men, mostly food and books, but someone wrote me a check once, and one time I got a car. When it finally drove, I named it Lazarus, which I guess made Charlie the Mechanic a type of Jesus. He said a squirrel got up inside the hood and ate away at some of the wires. He was surprised I didn’t burn up to death inside of it on the way over. “Thank you for choosing Charlie’s,” he said.

 

Another guy gave me a graph he drew on a piece of notebook paper, which evaluated his chances of getting with me. One end of the graph put me at “Married, but flattered” and the other end said “Let’s get naked and sweat.” I asked him what if I wasn’t anywhere on the curve, and he told me to have a good day.

 

I tried to give a gift to a woman who came into the shop. She shook badly like my dad, and she was homeless. I pretended not to notice. She promised her check wouldn’t bounce. I told her I trust her. I didn’t trust that the check wouldn’t bounce, I just trusted her in general, and I gave her what she ordered, since it was unlikely anyone had ever just written her a check or given her a car. She told me I have the most genuine smile she’d ever seen, that it was itself like a gift, because no one smiles like that to her anymore. She said what makes it so genuine is that my teeth are crooked.


About the Author

Katie Quinnelly is a climbing instructor in West Virginia. Their work has appeared in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Occulum, and Philosophic Idiot, among others.