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2nd Place Fiction 2017 Summer Contest It’s funny and satirical and makes great use of first-person collective in order to achieve that satiric humor. Anne Raeff and Lori Ostlund

In-Laws and Out-Laws Evan Lloyd

We waited for him to bring her home. When we heard the crunching of the tires on the gravel we ran to our positions. One of us peeked behind a curtain, two of us busied ourselves in the kitchen and one of us hid upstairs. Kristen. We never liked her. We were never sure about her. But we never expected this from her. A betrayal of this magnitude! We still talk about the first time Rob brought her home to meet us. Christmas. A family time. Our favorite time. One of us grimaced at her straight blonde hair and patted down our mousey frizz, one of us tried to reach out toward her, to welcome her, and was met by a cold steely gaze. One of us gave her a glass of wine. She declined and told us she didn’t drink. We gasped. We are a family of wine drinkers. We drink wine. It is what we’re best at, we told each other. Then Rob said he’d cut back too. Rob! Cut back! He’s only thirty-two! We laughed, he’d always been a joker. The baby of the family. She’ll never make it through Christmas without a bottle of Cab Sav, one of us whispered. We gave her a day without wine. We gave Rob an hour. We were right. He was on the Montepeluciano by sundown. We won him back. She was awkward the whole week, failing to navigate through the intricate traditions of a Walker family Christmas. She refused to come to midnight mass. Was she Jewish, one of us asked? No. An atheist. We groaned. We weren’t religious per se, but this was Christmas. She didn’t contribute to Rob’s stocking. Our eyes rolled. He hadn’t told her. It’s not your fault, we lied to her. She pushed around the fish pie on her plate on Christmas Eve, insulting our mother. Our eyes widened. We gossiped in corners and bedrooms hidden away from her. On Christmas morning she was dressed and made up, while we slouched in our pajamas holding out our festive stockings with glee. We thought we would win her over with our generosity by making a stocking for a woman we’d never met. But the sweater wasn’t her size and she already had one of those corkcicles. The pink of the scarf wasn’t in her color wheel. But thank you so much. Our excitement dwindled as we watched her dig through the stocking and find a travel-size, miniature bottle of gin that had been lodged in the toe of the sock. Rejected, the bottle rolled away under the Christmas Tree. We felt like drunk assholes. 33 | Issue 36

Blue Mesa Review Issue 36  
Blue Mesa Review Issue 36