“The year my twin and I turned eight, we vowed to kill our neighbor’s cat. Buster was an enormous marmalade and, a couple times a week, he left the heads of decapitated songbirds in our front yard. He belonged to the girl across the street, Liza Parker. Liza was in our grade but not our class. She wore button-up dresses every day and had her mother drive her to school each morning because she thought the bus was too dirty. When we saw her outside, she’d turn around and go inside; or if Buster was there, she’d bend over and pet him and whisper “Dirty orphans” in a singsong voice we could hear from our side of the street.”
My story “Buster,” winner of the 2014 Meridian Editor’s Prize, is now available to read in print and online. Here’s a link!