The Brewsters

We always called that rusty metal shack the Brewster house. It is in fact, a disused brooder house, which is a kind of shed for baby chickens. Thing leans wild, full of bent metal and cogs and boxes and dirt. It is a fortress of bees. An academy of mites. Not one thing do I understand.

Who are the Brewsters, anyway? How could they? I volunteer my mother to do their taxes. My brother is good with small motors. We’ll take the Brewster baby for an hour, put him in a drawer lined with soft towels. We’ll blend apricots for him to eat.

The tin screams as we enter forcibly to stand inside damnation. The Brewster children sleep in a pile, stuck together like old candy. Their parents are naked and chattering in the tub of a wringer washer, tipped over. Sometimes I think I want a love like that. They don’t even know we’re here. 

You call it eviction, I call it evacuation. The weeds that ring the Brewster house are begging for it, and though I rarely end my thoughts with burning houses, this time I make an exception. Besides, I’m dying to know.

Set all alight/Brewsters take flight. And they do, they pour from every gap and failed rivet. Hundreds of them. Some of them can see. That we are here.



Laura Ellen Scott teaches fiction writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and she is Fiction Editor for Prick of the Spindle. Her recent fiction has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Corium Magazine, The Northville Review, and Wigleaf. Most of her published work is linked at her blog, Probably just a story. “The Brewsters” comes from her as yet unpublished collection of gothic/paranoid short fiction called Curio.