Fiction The Upper New Review

Redemption by Margaret Marangione

The autumn morning held promise. Susan sat in her rocking chair facing the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Massanutten ridge behind her and looked out past her shimmering green fields, the cold morning dew on that grass like lights on Broadway. The sky was robin-egg blue and held no clouds. Today was one of her work days teaching remedial composition at a community college. She debated about taking the farm truck so she could do a trash run and get feed, and, of course, stop at Walmart. 

Motivating herself, she took the wash and carried it to the clothes line, hanging it half-assed but it was at least hanging on and would dry in the midday sun. Walking to her back-kitchen door, her bare foot came down on something soft and squishy. Under her foot she saw a freshly dead female squirrel with half of its head chewed off. The dogs. She picked it up by its tail and flung it over the fence as her mongrel terrier, Dinky, eyeing her, followed the arc of the squirrel as it sailed through the air. As she drove down the driveway ten minutes later, she saw her son’s butchering hog eating it.