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“No, I don’t think he’s the love of my life,” Claire Majors said to Lydia Miner. “He reduced me to being a ‘drunk girl’ in his essay, and Alec got to be ‘Alec Winston, the writer.’ Some conversation they must’ve had on their drive back from the airport.”

We were hiding from Grandfather behind a bush at the side of the Jiminy Diner, which had outdoor seating. He sat on the other side of Lydia and Claire, calmly finishing his bacon. May Lore and I expected a whupping when the time came to face up to our sins of sassback. It was war between us and him, and we could’ve run away, but here we were sidetracked by another quarrel. Claire Majors: my soul was trapped by the way she lifted napkin to lips and dabbed away perspiration and egg.

Lydia Miner said, “Did you visit the Granny about it?”

I looked sidelong at May Lore but she was snuffing the air like a pointer. That night I waited to learn what I wanted to be true – and yes, at midnight, Claire Majors looked both ways before she crossed empty Abbott Street. I followed her into the Memorial Sen Burial Grounds, to the grave of Granny Sutton, and there she knelt and prayed for the demise, the destruction, the public humiliation of renowned essayist Tomten Glant.

Magdalen Zinky is a writer and theatre artist based in New York City. She holds an MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Acting from the College of Santa Fe. Her fiction has been published in Red Sky and Knack Magazine. She was the recipient of the 2016 LGBTQ Scholarship for a writing residency with SAFTA in Knoxville, TN. She is a founding member of The Junkyard Theatre Company and a company member of Daughters of Elysium.