Pseudopod 121: Blood, Snow, and Sparrows


By Joshua Alan Doetsch

Read by Ben Phillips

Desdemona used to trace the stars with her finger, connecting the dots, naming her own constellations.

I call upon her name.

Desdemona.

I call her name when I want to remember.

Desdemona — who gave me thirty-one birthdays when I had none. Desdemona — who laughed and made snow angels on rooftops because the snow there was cleanest, the closest to Heaven. Desdemona — who made an angel of snow and blood in the dirty street on the day I lost her.

I remember this, now, as Zeek struggles in my arms, anger and fear evacuating his body in crimson spurts, and my smile dislocates my jaw. Zeek with the shroud-eye, one eye glaucoma clouded, said it was his evil eye, said he could hex a body with a stare, cast a pestilence. But, see, I knew better. I knew it was Zeek’s dirty needles that killed the kids. And the night collapses with primate shrieks as Zeek tries to lift his bloody gun and . . .

Freeze.

Too far.