Friday, March 29, 2013

Fault: An excerpt

The following is an excerpt from my short story "Fault":

He was probably twelve or thirteen, the same as his son now, when he’d walked into the kitchen to see, spread across the Sunday paper, the pieces of his father’s pistol. Each part laying there as if placed delicately, awaiting cleaning. The black metal was innocent, innocuous. Taken individually one could hardly see the violence in each. Together, though, they were a threat. A threat cared for. A loving task to fill an afternoon. And yet he’d been as nervous as he’d ever been in the vicinity of that gun.

It was only later that Matt realized that he could have stolen one of those pieces, one dull piece, chucked over the back fence and been rid of that threat.

And now, thirty years later, it was as if it was his fault that the gun that pointed at him even existed. That some stranger was threatening him with it. If it fired, if before him there was a tiny explosion that propelled the bullet in his direction, it would be his fault. It would be because he had fled from the kitchen without acting.

It would be one of many reasons. It would be because he had believed that owning this river resort was a good idea. Because he thought he’d spend his evenings near campfires, his days floating the river. His wife could mind the store where they sold bait and sunscreen and gossip. His son would grow up exposed to a variety of people.

And that it wasn’t exactly like that was his fault.

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