San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Carpe momento, let loose

You’re good for nothing, you know that?” he whispered. “Your hospital bills and that dog that cost more than my truck. And could you spread your legs once in a while? No. You’re dryer than a drought.” He walked to the back.

“They’re coming for the house, Charlie! They’ll take Dreifuss and your truck and everything! How will we live?” She waited for a response. His shadow twisted in the glossy, overturned sunlight waxing the wood floor. Late afternoon carefully tested the next inch as though with antennae. The dog, Dreifuss, returned his head to the ground and sighed deeply.

The birds outside took advantage of the quiet and began chirping again. A counsel of quick bursts and titters. Leaves snapped in spearpoints of grass.

She heard the trailing of a zipper.

She felt the cadence of each boot heel pushing away the floor.

He held a suitcase.

“Where’re you going, Charlie?”

He walked into the kitchen.

“Charlie? Where the hell are you going? Tell me!”

She tore into the kitchen. He felt around the top shelf of a cabinet, his fingertips clutching a flannel strap. He pulled the empty tin down: a worn canteen. It hung from a carabiner, taut as a prized trout. He started the tap and held it underneath.

She slapped his face. Then she slammed the faucet off, the water in the pipes reverberated through the house with a solemn gong.

“Now you listen to me. You’re going to give me what’s left of your check. You’re going to take a cold shower. You’re going to lie in bed. And sleep. And you’re going to give a damn when you wake up. Sober. Do you hear me, Charlie?”


In his mind, twin panthers paced, one gray, one granite, stalking each other in uroboros.

Jaws unhinged and swallowed hind legs.

They balanced on the pads of the other’s front paws, as though they were one animal on the surface of a frozen stream. As the rival’s head disappeared, their two eyes became four, and they rolled into a tight pill bug of flint, spinning.

He tightened the cap on the canteen. The remainder of his paycheck lay wadded in his pocket. He retrieved it, opened her fist, and tucked it inside.

He picked up his suitcase and left.

The dog barked once at the door. Then he looked at his mistress, cocking his head.

She opened the tap, splashed cool water across her face. Salty gorges warmed thin rifts of skin below her eyes.

She sat down.

Her thoughts drifted.

Sometime later, she came to. The dog barking and barking. Somewhere she felt thunderheads press low against open plains. Then the sky let loose. Thousands of chert pill bugs rained from the heavens, smashing against the grass flatlands, bursting into flames. Her body stiffened horribly.

The dog kept barking.

In her mind, she saw the house empty of all possessions, only tiny scratch marks in the hardwood floor for the next family who lived here to wonder, “What made this dent? Who lived here before us?”

-Mason Schoen is a creative writing graduate student.

-This piece of fiction does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Carpe momento, let loose