The weekend of the craft fair my wrists burn like they’ve been in the kiln, and when I drop the coffee
mug that Dot hands me and scald my foot, she digs my wrist braces out of the medicine cabinet and says, I’ll come with you—you’re going to need help handling the money and wrapping.
I don’t, but say nothing, go upstairs to my closet, and find the arm warmers she bought for my birthday last year. It’s awkward to wear them over the braces, but at least the comments will be about the pretty yarn rather than questions about what I did to my wrists. Dot hovers while I get ready, asking me what she should wear, like she’s never been to a craft fair, like it even matters.
She asks if she can carry anything out to the car, and I tell her the boxes by the back door, but when I come down, she’s gotten distracted by a phone call, laughing, standing by the window. I heft the boxes, slam the screen, wait in the passenger seat for her to finish, and we drive across town in silence so thick we’d need a chainsaw to cut it.
SARA RAUCH’s fiction and essays have appeared in Paper Darts, Hobart, Split Lip, So to Speak, Qu, Lunch Ticket, and other literary magazines, as well as in the anthologies Dear John, I Love Jane; Best Lesbian Romance 2014; and She’s Lost Control. She has covered books for Bustle, BitchMedia, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary, The Rumpus, and more. In 2012, she founded the literary magazine Cactus Heart, which ran through 2016. She holds an MFA from Pacific University. Sara teaches writing at Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop and Grub Street and also works as an independent editor and manuscript consultant. What Shines from It, which won the Electric Book Award, is Sara’s first book. She lives with her family in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Find her online at sararauch.com, on Twitter at @sararauch, and on Instagram at @sara__rauch.
Gokul Prabhu is a graduate of Ashoka University, India, with a Postgraduate Diploma in English and creative writing. He works as an administrator and teaching assistant for the Writing and Communication facility at 9dot9 Education, and assists in academic planning for communication, writing and critical thinking courses across several higher-ed institutes in India. Prabhu’s creative and academic work fluctuates between themes of sexuality and silence, and he hopes to be a healthy mix of writer, educator and journalist in the future. He occasionally scribbles book reviews and interviews authors for Scroll.in, an award-winning Indian digital news publication.