Spring 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 2 FictionApril 4, 2023 |

Two House Cats, Bearing News

The baby is four years old already. Soon Alex will have to stop calling her “the baby.” Her name is Abigail. She doesn’t like to be called “Abby,” which is what her mother calls her when she isn’t calling her “the baby.” She speaks in whole sentences now. Often when she meets a stranger she says, “My name is Abigail, and I’m not a baby.” She was born in winter, and now, because it’s late summer, Alex can hardly remember the time of her birth. Every summer the memory of that time feels safely remote from her, and then in winter it drifts in close again, like an orbiting comet. She’s big. She grows in secret, late at night, and in the morning her mother dresses her in clothes that were too big last week and now can hardly contain her. She doesn’t nap. She goes to sleep late at night and wakes late in the morning, no matter how her mother tries to change her ways, to make them more like the ways of a normal child. Sometimes she sleeps until almost noon

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Photo of Michael Tod Powers

Michael Tod Powers lives in Los Angeles, where he recently completed a PhD in creative writing and literature at USC. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The O. Henry Prize Stories, Boston Review, New Letters, The Threepenny Review, American Short Fiction, and numerous other magazines and journals. Powers is currently at work on a novel about art and parenthood in the climate crisis. You can find him online at michaeltodpowers.com

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