We hope you enjoy this reprint, which first appeared in the Mojo: Conjure Stories anthology and subsequently in the collection Fragile Things.
1. “Come back early or never come”
In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the face and lips and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smiled and kept moving. If I could have physically passed away, just let it all go, like that, without doing anything, stepped out of life as easily as walking through a door, I would have done. But I was going to sleep at night and waking in the morning, disappointed to be there and resigned to existence.
Sometimes I telephoned her. I let the phone ring once, maybe even twice, before I hung up.