Chango

by Rena J. Mosteirin

Rena J. Mosteirin is the author of the novella Nick Trail’s Thumb (Kore Press, 2008), selected for the Kore Press Short Fiction Chapbook Award by Lydia Davis. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of places in print and online. Mosteirin is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. She is an editor at Bloodrootlit.org.

All the girls in my paintings wear gasmasks and pretend they are not afraid. I make voodoo dolls, to bring the wrath of Chango on the girls in my gym class who hurt me. How discreetly I steal strands of their hair, how studiously I invent incantations. My mother doesn’t understand when she finds the careful dolls, even when I tell her what they say about our family: Send them all back. Criminals. One girl gets a pin in each eye, and the second gets a paperclip tight around her neck. But first I paint the toenails, the nipples, the anus—all with the same candy pink nail polish. Then I take a black marker and draw a six-foot man on the shell pink wall of my bedroom. He is just an outline, but he’s got a semi-automatic weapon. It’s not that he’s bad. He’s just had enough. Don’t you understand?

 


Rena J. Mosteirin is the author of the novella Nick Trail’s Thumb (Kore Press, 2008), selected for the Kore Press Short Fiction Chapbook Award by Lydia Davis. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of places in print and online. Mosteirin is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. She is an editor at Bloodrootlit.org.

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