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  Table of contents Issue Nineteen BUMP



t was a toenail, she thought. Sharp, curved, black with last week’s nail polish, or maybe with age. She didn’t sweep much. Didn’t clean much at all. Maybe she ought to. She found another one snagged in the carpet.

It was water, she thought, from the pipes beneath the sink, drip, drip, dripping all through the night. Sticky from the grease she forced down the drain. Rancid like half-digested food. Persistently pooled across the kitchen floor and inching toward her bedroom.

It was the window, she thought, suspended stubbornly above the sill, the gap letting air into the room. Soft puffs teased her hair from her cheeks and sent chills down the back of her neck. She pulled the blankets over her head to keep out the draft. Strange to feel chilly, when the wind was so warm.

It was a car, she thought, turning onto her street, twin pinpricks of yellow reflected in the mirror. It was her jacket, she thought, the shadow thrown against the wall, arms long and edges shaggy. It was the tree scraping branches against the window. It was the dishwasher sending tremors through the floor. It was the hour. It was the wine. It wasn’t real.

It was the last thing she thought.




J. Allisan is a former competitive swimmer turned swim coach. By day she works with developing athletes, and by night she develops stories. She currently resides in southern Alberta.

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