Poison - Brendan Moore

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by Brendan Moore

In an attempt to retreat from the morning’s ghosts, Bede allowed himself to knife an extra slice of butter onto his mashed potatoes, pushing it down with the tip of the rounded blade into the center of steaming whiteness. He had burnt the sausages a bit, so there’d be the taint of charring. Countered maybe, by the peas glistening greenly in the rising vapor of the potatoes, but it was difficult for Bede to rouse his appetite as he tried not to notice the sealed envelope, still partly folded, on the checkered tablecloth by his plate.

In the warmth of the kitchen he saw mist rising from his trousers, the shower that had spattered him in the graveyard earlier. The wind had come up suddenly while the priest blessed the coffin, and it had swept a hard, spraying rain against the mourners, sufficient to soak all of them as they angled their bodies away from it.

“As if one was not enough,” he muttered, reaching for his fork.

Jameson, the copper-coated terrier lifted his head from the mat in front of the turf fire, eyes checking to see if he was being spoken to. Then the dog tapped his tail twice in slow rhythm and dropped chin to mat once more. Bede waved his knife over the plate, as though conjuring hunger, listening all the while to the increasing swell of elements against the windows.

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