ARDOR Literary Magazine

ARDOR Literary Magazine - Issue One, Jan. 2013

Issue One, Published January 2013

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Page 28 of 73

I looked then at the boy in the backseat. His eyes were wide and white, his face a scream without the sound, like the wind had been sucked out of him. He pulled his fingers inside, leaving prints of condensation on the glass which flared and then disappeared. "What is wrong with you?" Jenny said quietly. "I don't know." "I'm leaving you here," she said. "I don't want to see you again." "I know," I said. "I know that already." She went back to the car and opened the driver's side door. She turned to me when she was half in and said, "I just don't know what's wrong with you." "Go on, Jenny," I said. "It's all right." She started the engine and backed out. Leather Sandals rose unsteadily as someone inside dialed the police. Jenny began to drive away but then stopped. I knew she wasn't going to invite me in, but for a moment she looked sorry about leaving me there. "You're impaired," she said. Or: "You're unfair." I didn't think I'd heard her right, so I shook my head and touched my ear. She unfastened her seatbelt and leaned across the passenger seat. I caught a glimpse of the tan line on her shoulder. "You look scared," she said. "Yes," I said. And I was. ���(END)��� If you enjoyed reading this story we think you'll also enjoy: SPECIAL NEEDS Nonfiction by Sean Finucane Toner AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW DUTTON In each issue the editor selects one prose writer and one poet to feature, offering readers a short interview with these writers. Andrew Dutton, author of our featured short story, Mesa, was kind enough to respond to a few questions. ARDOR: What was most challenging about writing Mesa? Which parts came easiest? AD: I started Mesa at a point in my life when everything was truly excellent. I was about to finish a MFA, I'd managed to put aside some savings from a generous fellowship from the University of Texas, and I was excited about my plans to move back to New England to be closer to my family. I woke up one day and was struck by how absurdly well things were going, and I was baffled by the good fortune that had come my way and a little suspicious of it. A few years earlier, I had moved to Austin for graduate school. My girlfriend Emily and I arrived on a brutally hot August afternoon a month before my first class. We'd borrowed money to put a security deposit on our tiny apartment, and we showed up in this wildly unfamiliar place, towing unpaid student loans and utility bills from the last place we'd lived, not knowing anyone, with absolutely nothing. I mean, we didn't have quarters for the laundromat. I don't intend to sound pathetic here, because of course there are a whole lot of people who were and are in more desperate situations than this one. But I was 22 years old, and I can say with conviction that it was a genuinely terrifying moment in my life, when I didn't know how to move forward or what to do.

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