Mara twisted the lid from the old pickle jar, releasing its tangle of vinegar, yeast, and rust. She reached in and plucked out the first bottle cap. Heineken green. Pressing her thumb against the creased metal, she could almost hear the crack of the opener, the fizz of the fleeing carbon, and the clink of metal ricocheting against the glass.
She positioned the Heineken cap between her thumb and middle finger just like he taught her. With a swift flick, the cap soared into the recycling.
Mara knuckled away blooming tears along with memories of football games, learning to drive stick, and kitchen table calculus. The second cap bounced off the wall and rolled away.
Focus, kid. You gotta clear your mind, or you’ll miss every time. Point with your elbow. Attagirl.Now…SNAP.
The long-faded words lingered with the sour smell of hops. Nodding to the empty room, Mara concentrated as she shot cap after cap.
With raw fingertips, Mara dropped the empty jar into the bin. The glass shattered and she took a shaky breath. A bottle cap--red and rusted beyond identification--lay on the linoleum. The one she missed. She picked it up, a souvenir of loss, and tucked it deep into her pocket.
About the Author: L.L. Madrid lives in Tucson. She has an affinity for desert creatures and other feral things. She’s the 2017 recipient of the Luminaire Award for best prose. When she’s not writing, she edits a peculiar little journal called Speculative 66. Links to L.L. Madrid’s works can be found here.