Check out Midwestern Gothic‘s Contributor Interview with me, your very own Dani Heinemeyer. Find out how the Midwest has shaped my writing, and how much I love Taco Bell.
My story “Seasons of Staying” appears in Midwestern Gothic‘s issue #16. Read below for a snippet and remember to purchase your own issue!
Seasons of Staying
Leah comes over one hot September morning to show me her new painting. She told me about it over the phone first: it’s of her dad and sister at the supper table, laughing, which Leah sketched from the living room before her family noticed she was watching. I’m counting bales when her car pulls down the drive, spitting gravel and dust. Leah hops out and reaches through the open back window to remove a canvas, careful not to bump its edges. I finish counting—83. When I turn to head back to the house Leah’s already running across the field, hard bits of soil flying from under her feet.
She stops a few yards in front of me and holds out the painting. “Sam, what do you think? I’m going to wait and give it to my dad for his birthday.”
It’s bright, full of broad splashes of color. Leah’s father looks almost young again. His face is open and careless, his palms up, carrying the air. But Sarah’s smile is more guarded, like she’s afraid the moment will suddenly break apart like the cloud of fruit flies that hovers over the field.
“It’s wonderful, Leah.” I ball my fists into my back pockets. “He’ll love it.”