Victory’s family visits. Pyrrhic brings her paintings, new ones with touches of fire, red in a swirling sky, the paper curled at the edges. Visiting hours are over at eight o’clock. On the drive home one night her dad is mesmerized by a passing car, by the sight of two little Asian girls crowding their heads out the window, laughing into the open air. He swerves into them. Both cars careen off the road, jumping like angry beetles.
~ from Victory Girl
The dictator is dead. His people – and he would call them that, even now – are rejoicing. Especially in the Christian south, they dance and sing and spit gleeful curses to the ground. In the capital city of the north – where his body hangs in the parade square, in increasingly negative metamorphosis, man made into corpse chrysalis, now a pinata for the shouting crowds – the celebrations are ugly fueled by hate. Iggly! they cry. Devil! Even a grandmother gets in on the fun, firing a pistol point-blank into his face. They showed that one on the news. There is no pity anymore. Everyone blames him for the war and the terror.
~ from Death of a Dictator
Two excerpts from my 2010 short story collection, Punishing Ugly Children. I still have copies left, and they’re still in my shop.