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How We Made You


That night, your mother and I left the prom early, speeding in your grandmother’s Fairlane station wagon, which puffed blue smoke into the sky where it settled in a curious ring around the full moon. That car has since passed away, but that night we drove it over the dirt roads like we had to cover so much ground in one night. That was how desperate we were. Someday you’ll understand. I’m not talking about lust, but something more, which caused the tires of the old car to leave the roads many times, sending us into fields where the long grass waved and glowed eerily before us under that moon. Everything glowed as if under a black light – my ruffled shirt and your mother’s dress and her pale blue eyes (like yours) and her frosted eyelids, and the dashboard even after the car had stalled in that last field where I kissed her eyelids so lightly that her body in the glowing dress shivered uncontrollably.

I hope that someday you’ll have someone to kiss you in the adoring and respectful way I kissed your mother. Respectful is the key. If not I will pound the person, male or female, I’m open either way, because I’ll still be a young man, one of the benefits of early fatherhood, still with the muscles I have now. I was on the wrestling team, Hannah. Ask your mother for the pictures. She will show you my bulges. I will tell you about the Incredible Hulk. For the longest time, when I held you in the crook of my arm, my bicep was bigger than your sweet fuzzy head.

I hope that you will kiss the right, deserving person for twenty minutes straight, in a strange field where everything glows.

Out in the grass, I removed my tie and threw it. Your mother held her dress over her knees, above the tickling grass, while her other hand tweaked the choke plate. Baby crickets leaped under the dress and touched her thighs and she screamed. I cranked until the car blew its cloud over the moon. Your mother fell into the grass. I followed her giggle. I lay on top of her, breathing the smell of her hair and neck, the gas and the oil. Something started moving the grass, like a large animal creeping towards us. The Fairlane had bumped into gear and was coming. It was idling fast and we had to chase it across the field. It ran aground on a flat boulder near the edge of the woods, motor racing and back wheels spinning. We got in and kissed for another twenty dangerous minutes. That was some kiss, Hannah, waiting to explode.

And it wasn’t enough. We took off our clothes and climbed into the back. The transmission whined, its pitch and heat rising through the floor. This was where we made you, moving slowly to not unbalance the car, our climax heightened by the fear of carbon monoxide and rocketing gas tank. I hope you will not grow up to love danger. If so it is our fault.

The moment we were out of the car, it back-fired and died. We felt the concussion in our chests and went down, thinking it was your grandfather’s shotgun. Then, opening our eyes to see the stars like so many scattered pellets, we laughed.

Gary Moshimer has stories published or upcoming in Smokelong Quarterly, Necessary Fiction, Storyglossia, Pank, Metazen, LitnImage, Litsnack, Word Riot, JMWW, and others. He works in a hospital in Pa.