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February 2024


Winston laid his head on the car window, allowing it to slam repeatedly against the car door. It brought him a strange ease as if the window were an old friend shuddering with him. “Stop laughing,” his father barked. His father smelled like alcohol, odor, and human waste. Winston could smell his breath from the distance between them, each breath sloppy and wet, the humidity of each slow air lapse increasing as they continued to drive. The nighttime darkness obscured his father’s face, the smell stinging Winston’s eyes. So, Winston stopped laughing. It was an effort to stop making noise, bracing himself for every leap the car made down the rocky path. He listened to the car hum and thud every time it hit the path. His father was curious, demanding so much harshly without specifying what he wanted. Jamie started fussing in her baby seat, her face contorting as…