The SettingKim Young
In the backyard, each summer, the two of us sleeping. Behind the house, a ravine. Behind the house, mustard and gypsum weed weaving through the hinges of an abandoned carâ€™s wrecked metal frame. The chaparral always burning. The two of us imagining the carâ€™s charred frameâ€”fire consuming human hair, a paper bag, an empty bottle turned black. After watching Nightmare On Elm Street, I made my sister curl in the bed with me. Every night, her body wrapped around me. Like the earthâ€” not dangerous, but sustaining. Do it again Daddy! was the game. When Dad pretended to be mean. When he pretended to be that face you canâ€™t believe you finally see. The land, dry and always burning. The night my mom and dad stood watchingâ€” a blaze so loud they couldnâ€™t hear our screams. But finally, the outline of hair, the sirens blaring. Someone was coming. All this retracing and guessing. My sister and I hopped chainlink. Ran straight into the ravine. Was the car a fossil? The fire, foreshadowing? We couldnâ€™t wait to see.
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