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Volume 12 • Number 1 • Spring - Summer 2020

Kaci Skiles Laws

The Brown Closet

Sara is clenching a fairy in her hand. She can feel my toes furling and unfurling into the carpet next to her. My knees are swaying, agitated.

“It’s too dark.”

There is a sharp click, a distant thud. I reach for the flashlight in my sister’s hand.

“Come under.” I whisper and resurrect a tent with my restless legs.

Both of our faces are illuminated under the cover of blanket inside the brown closet.

Sara smiles, but she’s tired.

“I’ll start,” she says. “Annie and Austin sell apricots in Alabama.”

I follow her lead, “Becky and Bill sell brownies in—” I pause, “I don’t know any B cities.”

“Brownville.” Sara helps.

“Becky and Bill sell brownies in Brownville.”

“Christy and Cameron sell caramel in Cairo. That’s in Egypt.”

“Where is Egypt?”

Sara places the fairy onto the floor next to her leg and holds up a small globe from inside the brown closet. It rotates under her tapping fingers. “There.” Her finger retreats and fumbles for the fairy. “It’s far away across the ocean.”

I take the globe. “We could go by jet.” My eyes sparkle in the small beam; I cut them in Sara’s direction, smiling. “We could go by Bumble-Boat.”

“Or stamp ourselves and go by mail.”

“Or by lion’s tail.” We both giggle alongside muffled voices coming through the walls of the brown closet.

“Did you bring Marvin K. Mooney?”

“I didn’t have time.” Sara opens her hand and reveals the hiding fairy.

“Periwinkle!” I pick up the fairy with two giddy fingers.

A voice becomes audible through the walls, “Just go. Go. Go! I don’t care how.”

I look at Sara, “Maybe he will go by Crunk-Car.”

“Or by a Ga-Zoom.”

There is a loud boom.

“Yeah, I think a Ga-Zoom.” I raise my eyebrows and move closer to Sara.

“Daisy and Derrick sell donuts in Derry.” Sara says.

“Emily and Eli sell eggs in England.” I rest my head against Sara’s.

Our eyes drift and close in the brown closet with the globe, the fairy, and the flashlight. We are both fast asleep when the door opens.

Kaci Skiles Laws is a writer and musician living in Dallas—Fort Worth. Her work has been featured in The Letters Page, Bewildering Stories, Pif Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, Otherwise Engaged, The Blue Nib, and a few others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by NCTC's English Department and is currently working on a children's book called The Boogerman. Some of her and her husband's visual artwork can be viewed on their YouTube channel listed under Kaci and Bryant. Her Facebook link is
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