Bridges

What if your mother came back from the dead?

Denise Clemen

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Photo by Hazel Clifton on Unsplash

No one was sure when the crazy lady first arrived in Two Bridges, but after the parish fish fry the first Friday of Lent, the whole town knew she was there. The ringing of a table knife against the rim of a coffee cup brought the church basement to silence as the woman stood up. “I went hunting for the very first time,” she announced. Was she Jack Sampson’s ex-wife? Old man MacMillan’s daughter, back from the Twin Cities to bury him? The woman backed into the hallway and disappeared just long enough to re-emerge with a black trash bag. Struggling with the weight of it, she extracted a still dripping buck’s head and muscled it aloft.

The hubbub made it impossible for people to agree on what she’d said next. At Sal’s Crosstown Café the next morning, some said she declared that giving up meat for Lent was a rejection of God’s bounty. Others remembered she’d apologized for taking the deer out of season — even before the accusations filled the room. A select few at Sal’s, conjecturing at a corner table in the back, said the woman delivered a coded message that held clues to the recent mysterious deaths of nearly a dozen farm animals. Only a couple details were agreed upon: Father Timothy had escorted the woman and her poached treasure out the door and into the rectory — and that buck had a damn nice rack.

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Denise Clemen

Birth/first mother, recovering wife, retired caregiver, traveler, collage artist. Advocate of #adopteerights and #reproductiverights and other good things.