White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
WHITE WHALE REVIEW
Trent England
Trent England is a playwright and fiction writer. Three of his plays have received public readings and over twenty-five of his short stories have been published, two of which were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In June of 2015, his newest play, A Play About Nothing, will premiere at PortFringe in Portland, Maine. He and his wife live in London, where he is writing a new novel and a new play. His work has previously appeared in issues 1.2, 1.3, and 2.3 of White Whale Review.

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Minimus

Trent England

 

Celeste had never seen a wild animal up close like this. Squirrels and rabbits had briefly crossed her path, as had wild birds that flitted overhead. She’d seen chipmunks and field mice sprint away at the sound of her footsteps, and she’d seen skunks skulk along the perimeter at dusk and vanish into the woods. The year before, a stray cat had warmed itself up to a bowl of cold milk on the porch, but at the sight of Celeste pushing open the door to greet it, the cat sprinted off to its feral meadowlands. The grizzled customers who limped their ailing trucks and tractors to her father’s garage were as close to wildlife as she’d gotten.

She’d also never seen the garage so empty. Celeste closed the door behind her and stood a few feet from the buck that lay on a beige-colored bath towel that covered the oil spots on the garage floor, and she remembered drying herself off with that same towel just days before. Surrounding it were other bath towels of various shades of fading color

that had never so much as left Vermont, or even dared go farther than a public pool in Burlington. It was October; sunscreen and chlorine already felt like distant memories.

The animal’s tan hide was spotted with dried blood that reminded Celeste of the time she spilled grape juice on the living room carpet. A circle the size of a baseball was shaved into the deer’s side where a wound had been sewn up tight and the garage smelled like blood and rubbing alcohol and the musky scent of deer pee, the silence cut by the humming buzz of a heater that rotated in the corner like a ruthless parent, always shaking its head no.

The buck watched the little girl with ringlet hair approach him where he lay doped up in the makeshift recovery room, its walls hung with auto implements and floor littered with angry little oil rags. He blinked his large brown eyes armed with lashes she thought were as dark as her father’s mustache. She said hello and the great animal blinked again.

“Don’t get better,” the girl said.

The buck breathed slowly, as if to reply Sure.


“If you get better you have to go back outside.”

Sure.

“If you go back outside, someone might shoot you again.”

Sure.

And then she turned around, walked back into the house and closed quietly the door that she’d been told not to open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright© Trent England. White Whale Review, issue 7.1


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