By Brian Mihok
Mendez came home from fighting in the war. She was a sharp shooter. When you can't really feel the person you are shooting, shooting them seems all the more important, she told the counselor. Let's switch gears, the counselor said. Mendez looked at her watch. You keep looking at your watch, the counselor said and looked at his watch. I have to pick up my children after this, Mendez said. Are you happy to be with your children again? I am happy period, Mendez said. What do you visualize as the best outcome? the counselor said. Shooting people from my house, Mendez said. Your neighbors? the counselor said. Of course not. The enemy, she said. To be able to shoot the enemy from my house instead of being deployed. Wouldn't your children see you shooting the enemy? the counselor said. There would be like a shooting room that was off-limits, Mendez said. Would this be added to your house? Well, we don't have a room that would work, but I'm sure some folks' houses do. Or they could start designing houses with shooting rooms, Mendez said. The session ended and Mendez went home. A week later she received orders to ship out again. She was killed by a road-side bomb two days after she arrived. Her counselor was informed of the soldiers that would not be continuing their sessions. He put down the list and felt a great desire for a banana daiquiri. He stopped at the supermarket on the way home. The blender covered up his sobs as he read through an old yearbook. The sobs turned to passionate weeping at six o'clock. The weeping lasted until eight. Through the living room was the parlor, which he realized would have made a perfect shooting room.
Brian Mihok edits matchbook, a literary journal of indeterminate
prose. He's also on staff at Keyhole and Tarpaulin Sky.
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