Mar/Apr 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 2 FictionMarch 1, 2016 |


Curt was in Bernadette's Studio City apartment on a visitation. He picked the twins up, one in each arm, and crooned, "Do you still love me? Do you like me at least? You do, don't you? C'mon, give your daddy a kiss." They squirmed and kicked their pajamaed legs until the babysitter came forward worriedly. She was a junior at USC, her chest in its sports bra one large seemingly unbifurcated bosom, her eyes stuck onto her face like pins. Curt put the twins on the carpet and reached out and ran his hand down her arm. Her skin was cold. He had no interest, but he was pretending. Pretend harder, he thought. He ran his hand up her arm this time, as if a different direction would change everything. "Bernadette told me to expect this from you," the babysitter said. "She doesn't know me," Curt said. "She said you're a jackal." The babysitter addressed the twins. "That's like a dog, sweeties." "Doggie!" Bruce sat back on his bottom and pointed up at Curt. Curt had give

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Corinna Vallianatos’s story collection, My Escapee, won the 2011 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her stories have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s, A Public Space, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She lives in Claremont, California.

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