Fiction from Web del Sol

After Omaha

Brian Evenson

      We hung the bacon in the trees--great slabs of the stuff that we had had cut for the occasion.
      We waited.
      "Oh, my Lord!" I said, slapping my forehead. "The wires!" "The wires!" said E.J. "The wires!"
      I sent him to purchase some. I turned on the floodlights and scared the flies away. When I heard the car pull out, I went into his kitchen to look around. Meanwhile, the idiot came back with thirty-gauge wire!
      Can you believe it?
      And not even a receipt!
      I had no choice but to wait for him to correct his mistake. Of course, I looked at the layout. Occasionally, I looked into the sky. Wouldn't you have?
      All right, we wrapped the wire around the nails, stretched it taut from point to point. E.J. went around crimping and tightening while I plucked each span, listening.
      The flies were all over the meat again.
      E.J. ran about shooing them away. "Shoo, you flies, shoo!" he insisted, waving his tiny hands.
      "That does it," I said.
      "I can hardly wait!" E.J. said. "I can almost taste it!" he said, beating at air with his tiny little hands.
      We cut the lights. We stayed nearby, crouching, well out of sight.
      "What's happening?" said E.J. "Is anything happening?"
      In Omaha, I had been kept at a distance, behind the barricades--as were the rest.
      "Soon," I said. "Soon."
      Omaha. At first I had been unsure of myself. I had taken notes while the others pushed from behind, crushing me against the barricade. A uniformed man had from time to time cracked his stick over my head.
      I looked at the arrangement, tableau, assemblage, what-have-you. Where is everybody? I wondered. Where was the press, for example?
      E.J. said, "Well?"
      "Ssshhhh!" I said. "Listen!"
      We listened for motion, for the dull flapping of heavy, holy wings. We sat for hours, waiting. The only sound was flies and the rotting of the meat.

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