“The Annual Bonfire, 1998” by Lynette D’Amico (Fiction ’13)

Fiction alumn Lynette D’Amico was recently featured with a short essay in Short Reads. Read an excerpt and find a link to the full text below:

The Annual Bonfire, 1998

In September, the hungry ghosts emerge from hell to stretch their skinny legs. Their joints clack together like dry wood, and their throats are blocked by knots.

The last Saturday of September, we hosted a bonfire. This was in rural western Wisconsin, when I lived with M.

In September, the light thinned. Oak leaves were purple and brown. Sumac leaves blazed red in late summer. The buckeye leaves jump-started fall and turned yellow all at once, all on the same day. The leaves dropped the same way, not one at a time, but again, all at once, as if a string connecting the leaves had been pulled.

The ghosts’ hunger was the hunger of secrets and regrets. Maybe no one held their hands at death; no one washed their cooling bodies or sang to them.

Trees don’t really turn colors, you know. In fall, the green pigment stops being produced and other colors are revealed, like a secret you always knew.

The fire was a tradition—the second annual bonfire, the fifth, the eighth—and then, when M. and I were over, it was over.

Continue reading here:  Lynette D’Amico | Short Reads