Unannounced Guest
Arlene Ang

The day we buried my sister, Mimi came. The rings on her face dangled. Everyone watched her as fish would observe a hook without the bait. She wanted to have the cookbooks that she had left my sister. I understood for the first time the word 'lover.'

Mimi stood there and chewed gum: You got to admit there's something eerie about all these people who never knew her. And are here now.

It was April. Dead fish were washing up from the lake. There are smells you bring home that write themselves into a novel. In this scene, I was serving egg sandwiches. I was thinking about the hour on Mimi's digital wristwatch—15:39—and how it created a private neighborhood peopled with silence.

My sister's husband stood apart, holding their two children by the wrists. There was so much sun coming in through the French windows that I finally understood the concept behind alien abduction.

Arlene Ang serves as a poetry editor for The Pedestal Magazine and Press 1. Other short stories, some co-written with Valerie Fox, have been published in Admit Two, Defenestration, Monkeybicycle, Oak Bend Review and qarrtsiluni. She lives in Spinea, Italy.

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