Girl

by Nahal Jamir

2012 Just Desserts Short-Short Fiction Prize Honorable Mention

There is a girl at my school that we all call Girl because that’s what she asks to be called. Most people say “Girl” with sarcasm, though. Girl doesn’t believe in God. She’s always telling us about her search for the elephant that’s buried in a field near her subdivision. Look at her digging. Look at us digging.

She tells me the dirt is red because it’s soaked with elephant’s blood. In the distance underneath a large tent, the neighborhood adults watch our progress. They sip cocktails and argue over whether Girl or I will be valedictorian. There is one woman, a madwoman, who races around, telling people there is no elephant. There is no elephant. No one listens to her. Girl’s mother throws wine in the madwoman’s face.

I walk toward them, dirt falling from my hair, my clothes. “Look at us digging,” I say, and the adults burst into applause.

Nahal Suzanne Jamir obtained her PhD at Florida State University. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming in The South Carolina Review, Jabberwock Review, Meridian, The Los Angeles Review, Crab Orchard Review, Carolina Quarterly, and Ruminate Magazine. Her story collection will be published by Press 53 in March 2013.

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