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Boise Weekly Fiction 101 2018: And The Winners Are...


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  • Erin Ruiz

"Roe" —Sharon Hanson, Boise

With her teeny-tiny rake Merilee scratches the driveway, scarlet fish-shaped leaves slipping through tines like salmon negotiating fish ladders. Kneeling, then prostrate, the teeny-tiny girl tunnels inside the streamlined leaf pile, propels the current. Overhead, the careless breeze ripples clouds like whitecaps.

When her father's pickup rolled over the driveway, he heard the unnatural—more fish bones than linden leaves.

To begin again, he migrates inland, hires on at Oxbow Hatchery; releases fingerlings into the current; prays Sockeye and Chinook, red like sumac leaves, side-skim gillnets and outsmart anglers to reach upstream spawning. Blessing each, he still fears tiny bones within.

  • Erin Ruiz

"Boundaries" —Gabrielle Nelson, Sandia Park, New Mexico

She fondles an orange, slowly undressing it against the sand. In the ground she feels the faraway hum of movement. It stirs in her something rich and dusty, an instinct, a memory triggered by the summer dung haze: she and her mother fanning themselves, listening to the desperate crackling of their own skin.

"We move forever. Our feet rotate the earth," her mother said.

She can taste the thrum of her ancestor's march. Laziness evaporates. She breaks through the fence. Monkeys applaud, zebras bray and buck. On the news they report the strange phenomenon of an elephant strolling down the freeway.

  • Erin Ruiz


"Dachshund" —Phillip Bode, Fargo, North Dakota

You're wearing designer boxer-briefs the poet sent you, holding another woman's dachshund amidst spandex, leggings, and boas in her closet, searching for her golf clubs

Her ex wails "you ruined me!" His voice bathed in tequila.

His footsteps charge and kick her bedroom door open. No gun or knife, just a grungy YMCA outfit: Those weights, push-ups, hours watching Ali fights on YouTube won't do you any good now.

Armed with little else, you ask: "What the hell are you doing?"

He screams, marches out towards sirens. You feel and smell the dog's urine down your leg—relieved it's not yours.