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Kinds of Leaving by Nancy Hightower | Word Riot
Flash Fiction

November 15, 2011      

Kinds of Leaving by Nancy Hightower

Had Daddy known the number of strangers who would put a hand to my belly and show how a bush could burn and stay unconsumed, he would have died sooner than 37. Mother didn’t know what to do except marry again, a man half her age and size. From then on my childhood was grilled-cheese dinners and Bible lessons telling me to keep my legs shut until the time was right. When I was 13 a boy stuck his hand under my skirt and I thought time. After, lying there on Speed Racer sheets, I thought stakes not high enough.
     I scrape my legs against chipped paint as I crawl out the broken window. Neither criminal nor homewrecker, I tell myself.
     I learned about stakes on Daddy’s knee, watching him shuffle while other men stole glances for a tell. High stakes, girl, always high; just don’t let the hunger get the better of you.
     Shattered glass crunching underfoot, a pitch of angry voices; my getaway not as clean as I’d like, my car three blocks away.

Nancy Hightower

About the author:

Nancy Hightower lectures on the rhetorics of the grotesque and fantastic in art, film, & literature. She writes fiction for artists, galleries, and museums and has had work published in storySouth, The New York Quarterly, The Cresset, and Big Muddy.

    2 comments to Kinds of Leaving by Nancy Hightower

    • Carman C. Curton

      Nancy, don’t know if you remember me–Carman Curton from DU–graduated spring 1999. Anyway, I often read Flash Fiction and just found you and had to say, “Loved it!” Glad to see you’re still writing and getting published. If you want to hear more about my boring life, write back (still married to Bob-you probably remember him):



    • Edin

      I am taking a short fiction class and found your story to be very unique from the others on this site. I like the way you make the reader wonder at first what you are writing about, and as you read you understand more and more about what you are talking about.

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