I saw a girl at the end of a long dirt road. She had a smeared white dress and dust-covered feet. She had a table and a sign. The table was empty. The sign read, One Dollar. I asked what she was selling and she said, Anything. I wanted to believe her, but it was too hot to believe in anything, except maybe my own thirst. Sweat leaked out of everything, even my wrists. My tongue, rust. I said, Anything? She put her fists on the table. She was completely dry. Go on, she said. Ask. It was all I could do to reach into my pocket and remove four quarters. I stacked the coins on her table. One glass of lemonade, I said. Ice cubes, if possible. She looked at the quarters as if they were cursed. She looked at my face like we were ancient enemies. Pocketing my money, she said, Next time, ask for the world.

— Dan Leach has published work in The New Orleans Review, Copper Nickel, and The Sun. He has two collections of short fiction: Floods and Fires (University of North Georgia, 2017) and Dead Mediums (Trident Press, 2022). An instructor of English at Charleston Southern University, he lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina with his partner and kids.

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