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“Look! It’s snowing! It’s snowing!” Ricky woke up to his sister’s face hanging down from the top bunk. He sat up and looked out the window. “Maybe we’ll get a snow day, Ricky!” He smiled at that thought. It wouldn’t be cold if he could just stay inside and not spend the snowy morning waiting for the bus. “I told you the mermaid was magic! It made snow!” The little girl’s head had disappeared, and the bed shook with her excited bounces. “I wished for snow, and I got snow – it’s like a genie!” “Except it looks like a booger, and it burps. And it doesn’t grant wishes; it snowed because it was cold.” Ricky looked out at the white powder burying the backyard. “What about my warts?” Ricky got out of bed and yawned. “Mom put medicine on them, and they went away.” “The mermaid got rid of them.” Footsteps on the stairs caught their attention, and Mom walked in a second

thirteen

The girl took a deep breath. “I think the mermaid is magic.” “Why?” He picked the withered blades of the November grass at his feet. The girl shoved her thumb in front of her face. Ricky pushed it away. “What?” “Look!” “It’s a thumb.” Ricky put the grass he had picked in a pile. “My warts!” “They’re gross.” But Ricky looked closer at his sister’s thumb. It was smooth, save for the peachy ripples of the girl’s fingerprint. “They’re gone.” She smiled. “I wished for it, and the mermaid ate my warts.” Ricky looked back at the grass. “You’re stupid.” “I am not!” “Stupid dum-dum.” The bus pulled up, and the two children sat as far away from each other as they could. “Then Kasey told me that my coat was ugly, and Bobby F. told him that he was being mean, and then Kasey told him that he wouldn’t share his Pringles at lunch, and Bobby F. told him that he wouldn’t share his fruit roll-ups, and then Miss Stuart told them to stop being mean to each other, and then they told her that I started it! And then…” Ricky willed his ears to close up and drown out the sounds of his little sister. He was feeding the mermaid again, watching it bob up and down and make throaty noises that sounded so colorful. They were streaks of green and blue and muddy hazel against the gray background of the dying, autumn world. “It’s too cold out here. I hate the cold.” “I love it,” said his sister, stopping mid-sentence in her explanation of what she’d told Miss Stuart. “I want to go inside. Maybe Mom will make hot chocolate for us.” “I wish it would snow.” “I wish your face would snow.” He paused and stuck his tongue out at his sister. “If it snows, what are we going to do with the mermaid?” “Maybe Mom will buy us a tank. We can put it in my room and feed it popcorn.” “She wouldn’t do that. It’s too ugly. Come on, let’s go inside.”

Profile for Brushfire Literature & Arts

Edition 63 Volume 1  

Fall 2010. Brushfire is UNR's oldest literature & arts journal. Brushfire publishes biannually, check out our website for more info! unrbrus...

Edition 63 Volume 1  

Fall 2010. Brushfire is UNR's oldest literature & arts journal. Brushfire publishes biannually, check out our website for more info! unrbrus...

Profile for brushfire
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