Fiction | December 01, 1999

Winner of 1998 Editors’ Prize in Fiction.

This story is available via the PDF link below.

If she held séances, then you can understand it, there were so many deaths. How she watched her little boy die. How her eyes turned to the small shallow spot  in the bed — his ghost — when they finally lifted him away from the sheets. Feverish boy, with wet brown hair, glassy-eyed. She had wiped his brow. Had held his small hand and caressed each small finger, lifting them at the  knuckles. Laid her head on his chest, his tender ribs, to hear his dying heart. In the upstairs room a window had been opened. Rain puddled on the sill. The boy’s cat stepped its quiet paws over the floor, rubbed its back against the bed, crouched to jump — its back legs tight, ready to spring — while the boy lay in his dark fever. But she lunged at the cat, kicking her stiff black shoe at its head, so terrified had she become that her boy would be robbed of his last tiny breath.

“Tad Lincoln’s Ladder of Dreams” by Emily Pease

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