Psychopomp Magazine Spring 2016 - Page 20

side of her spine, bone begins to sprout from each of Rachel's shoulder blades. The skin around the protruding bone is cracked and bleeding. I touch one of the bones, and feel it vibrate beneath my fingers

& but I can't lie here and close my eyes. They've been trying to organize planes to take us into the battles that need relief and reinforcements, but they simply can't move quickly enough. Even so, it's only a matter of heartbeats before we're loaded into a plane and dropped into battle. I close my eyes and hope my sister is casting a spell for me across the ocean. She writes to me about her spells, about how she thinks she lit a cigarette with her mind, and I believe her. Everyone's got their own superstitions here, their own beliefs and higher powers, and Jane is mine

& we have unfolded a roadmap from Jerry's General Store and we sit around it in a circle with uncapped markers like wands waiting in our mittened hands. We are planning our escape route like we imagine our brothers plan their search and destroy missions in the jungle. We have pushed our usual treehouse furnishings to the side: an old Ouija board, a stack of books, a collection of candles and matches. The pictures we hung over the summer still cling to the walls of the treehouse under their fastenings of peeling and dirty-edged scotch tape, surrounding us in surreality. The map shines blankly in the candlelight, unmarked, uncertain, mocking us. You really think you can escape, it says

& hearing these attacks radioed in, I am thinking that this fight is going to be different. I remember, as this war was starting, I told my dad I wanted to enlist. I wanted to fight like he did. He told me that he had gone to war to fight an enemy who was putting people in ovens, not a bunch of farmers who didn't want to be bothered with me. He told me not to go, so I didn't

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