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Ashes on Cape Cod by Miranda Forman | Word Riot
Flash Fiction

July 29, 2017      

Ashes on Cape Cod by Miranda Forman

     I asked Jenny to be my girlfriend at lunch on the third day of seventh grade, after math class when Sam Butler told me I was a frog face with a syphilitic dick who would never be loved by anyone except my frog-faced dog. I didn’t look Jenny in the eye—I looked down at my untied sneakers—and I said, “Jenny, will you be my girlfriend?” She clapped her hands and let out a little squeal and said, “Yes, Max,” in her perfect breathy voice. If we ever kissed, I imagined that it would be epic enough to crack open the earth.
     All through seventh grade, she let me hold her hand, and touch her shoulders, and nuzzle the arch of her neck, and when my not-at-all syphilitic dick grew hard she touched it through my pants. But she’d never kiss me.
     Until the summer after eighth grade when my dad died. It had been a long time coming, but I didn’t like to talk about it. Jenny drove out to the Cape with my mom and me, sitting in the back seat and gazing out the window at the trees as they grew stubbier in the sand.
     After my mom and I spread the ashes into the ocean, my mom walked down the beach, her chin spotty and her eyes pinched. I hiked back up the dune to the parking lot. I sat on the edge of the asphalt where it broke into sand. The air was misting like it couldn’t quite rain. Jenny’s hand was hot in mine. Her lips were soft on my mouth. And then she pulled away, and the world hadn’t cracked open at all.

About the author:

Miranda spends most of her time in Atlanta with her husband and dog. Her superpower is that she looks good in all hats. More work and musings can be found at

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