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The mother was dreaming about the closet.

The closet was always there, just around the corner in Bill’s room, a closet with a lock on the outside.

She’d only been put in there three times, but it seemed like fifty because of the dreams.

No louvres.

The groping shirtsleeves.

The smell of stale, stored cigarettes.

The smell of shoes.

Worst of all, the smell of the guns.

The first time he put her in there, he’d forgotten about the guns.

That bitter smell, the smell that went with the sheen of oil on metal, that smell
was everywhere, and then the bang like a fireworks bang, and then she was awake in the quiet dark.

Old again.  Free again.  In her house without closets, almost without doors.


Leslie Ingham is a founding member of the Portuguese Artists Colony.
The Portuguese are not noted for their lederhosen.
She is currently at work on a novel.


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