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Robin Black (fiction, ’05): Robin’s story “The Hunt” is online at Blip Magazine.

The Hunt

by Robin Black

Her point wasn’t that she wanted to kill him.  That wasn’t at all what she was trying to say.  That wasn’t at all what she had said.  Her point wasn’t that she wanted to kill him – but rather that she was afraid she might.  And they weren’t the same thing.  They weren’t the same thing.  She said that to him twice.  She may have said it more than twice.  Her voice was growing quieter, tighter and quieter, and he was starting to lose track of what she had said.  They aren’t even close to the same thing, she said viewing him with a slightly wide-eyed look that might have been taken for pity if it hadn’t been just a little bit tough, a little more heated than pity would imply.  Do you even understand the difference? she asked.  But then she didn’t pause to breathe, didn’t pause for his response but she asked with a change he couldn’t quite hear — not word for word — but that he nonetheless distinctly felt.  An important shift. Don’t you even understand the difference? she asked.  And the boy didn’t speak.  He just looked at the floor.  He stared down at his own sneakers, each precisely filling, end to end, one square of the gray linoleum floor; and he noticed that only one of his shoelaces was tied...[Keep Reading]…

Robin is the author of the story collection, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This (2011, Random House)