Stratum

The stone age lasted between “I see angels when I rub my eyes, Efrim,” and “this world and me don’t get along so well, buddy.” Almost thirty years, and the stratum ran deep.

Stones thrown into the pond, and the bony dirt convulsed.

She sat alone in the living room, lamp off, the Big Him gone for the night, children outside, co-conspirators in all things summer. The television was on, and there was sound, and there was movement, but it was a prop. She cared nothing for the staged chatter, the rehearsed expressions, the insipid laughter. She rubbed the bruise he set on her hip, rubbed it with her knuckles until it felt raw, and she waited for the night to conceal it, and everything else.

Evening drifted in slow, and the breeze from the Onondaga River, for once, did not stink.

**Excerpt from The Stone Age, a work-in-progress**

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