Three Stories | Cathy Ulrich
Your Girlfriend as an Automatic Weapon in a School Shooter’s Hands
She will be the pulse-flutter of his wrist, the brief clench and widen of his eyes, she will be the patter of running feet, the click of door-lock, the shouts, the cries, the please, please, please, the dark round mouth of the barrel, and you will wrap her in blankets, you will say is there anything I can do, and her mouth will be bullet-full, her hands will be tremble-fire, and she will be every quieted voice, every rabbit-quiver heartbeat, every thundercrack, is there anything you can do, she will say there’s nothing, no, there’s nothing.
Your Girlfriend as Snow Geese at Berkeley Pit
She will be the migration of black-tipped wings, she will be a skein in the sky, swirl in the water, the dip and touch down, the leech of metals from the ground, she will be the shimmer of acidic water where they land, the thrumble of wings as they take flight, she will be thousands of snow geese dotting the sky, their falling and their flight, she will be the last rescued bird in the lab, she will be the hope, the articles, the hovering scientists, the please, she will be the quieting of its soft goose heart.
Your Girlfriend as the Winchester House
They will call her haunted, they will call her a landmark, they will open her for tours that she will wide-eyed endure, they will touch the door frames on each one of her one hundred and sixty rooms, they will climb stairs to nowhere, run their hands along slick banister rails, they will let their children run through her gardens, they will ignore the tour-guide tapes, stomp through her hallways, heels clacking on the wooden floor, and she will say to you every step sounds like the falling of a hammer, every step sounds like the firing of a gun.
Cathy Ulrich would really like to visit the Winchester House someday. Her work has been published in various journals, including 100 Word Story, Citron Review and Empty House.