Spacebreak/Grammar/Allegory (Three Short Fictions) – Brandi Wells

Dear Space break,

My boyfriend says I should call you. He says I ought to feel upset. I don’t. I don’t feel upset that we aren’t talking but sometimes I feel upset that I don’t notice we aren’t talking.

After twenty-six years, I’m still terrified of you. Scared that you’ll be there, grabbing and twisting the skin around my neck and shoulders, trying to leave a mark.


You’re supposed to be the in between. The marker for what is to come. The transition into everything else. But you could never settle for that. You had to leave marks. Bruises, teeth marks, burns. You used your space to tell me I was a bastard child, I was the reason he was gone, I was the reason you weren’t anybody.

But fuck you, a space break isn’t necessary really. I can do the same thing with a numeric list.

1. See                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. How                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         3. This                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       4.Works?




Dear Grammar,

I am always misspelling you. And you smile when you correct me, but it’s a hard smile. It’s a smile that looks like you want to murder me.

And remember that time I told you I was sick? You told me I could go home, not to worry about it, but you didn’t sound like you meant it. You voice was saying SIT IN YOUR CUBICLE AND CORRECT EVERYTHING.

Have you even sat in one of these cubicles? Sitting with my back to the opening makes me think that someone will come up behind me and hit me in the neck.

It is easy to die from being hit in the neck. Why do we have to sit in these little boxes? What’s so great about these goddamn boxes?

I get the feeling that no matter what I’m doing, you’re sitting right outside the cubicle listening. Probably taking notes. Later you will type it all up and send it to me via email. You will format your email in the form of PQP (praise, question, polish) and the polish will tell me where the wrong commas are and how then is different from than. When whan when whan when whan.


If you send this letter back to me with trackback comments about what I can do better, I quit.




Dear Allegory, I’m writing you this letter to tell you I never quite understand you. I don’t want to talk about war or drugs or white supremacy. I don’t follow you when you do. Sometimes white is just white and a parachute is just for fun.

I think you’re missing the fun. Always looking for a reason.

And why yell when I confront you? A power play? What the fuck are you talking about? A power play for what? Do you feel that important? Who are these people telling you that you’re important?

The way you laughed when I walked away. You knew I was crying.

You fucking cuntbitch,


I am working on ways to keep you out. I’m watching. Keeping vigil. Asking friends to stay up and watch for you too. They’ll tell me when they see you and I’ll run away. Bike away. Crawl inside a hole that you’ll think is something more than a hole, but it will just be a hole and I’ll be safe there.




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