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Cherie Hunter Day

Kristen was sent to her room for talking back but being by herself wasn't a real punishment. She preferred to be among toys of her own choosing and the company of the late night radio program, The Power Hour. She took turns sleeping in both twin beds. To feel like a guest she'd sleep in the one on the left and to celebrate coming home she'd sleep in the one on the right. There would be other experiments. She melted crayons using heat from the goose-necked lamp. The waxy pools of color collided and overlapped on the drawing paper. Red in particular seeped through and left a tell-tale red blotch on the plastic lampshade. It would also be hard to explain why she spit on the light bulb. And the explosion that followed after her third try. The sudden dark and hot shards of broken glass scattered all over the floor between the twin beds. Which hurt more? Was it when her grownup sister, Annie, grabbed her bare feet and squeezed them looking for pieces of glass, or when she tried to walk with blisters?

Cherie Hunter Day lives in San Diego. Her stories have appeared in Mississippi Review, Mid-American Review and Quick Fiction.

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