steven j. mcdermott
The summer the crows started dying Garrett hungered to reconcile with his wife; but Elissa was leaving him anyway.
You always feed them first, she said, settling into the driver's seat, the key aiming for the ignition.
The engine turned over, the harsh revving rattling the valves. She yanked the door closed, clunked the gear-shift into reverse, and backed down the driveway. Garrett stood and stared, his arms hanging limply. The unburnt fuel in the exhaust stung his nostrils as she drove off.
Away behind the house he heard the screeching caws of the baby crows he was nursing.
Steven J. McDermott is the author of Winter of Different Directions, a collection of short stories, and the editor of the online journal Storyglossia.