Misplaced Alice


by Matt Briggs

Price: $12.00


Table of Contents

Ida's Breakfast
Where I'm Not
Soul Saver (excerpt)
Beginning Bumping
Three Cars
The Wedding Party
False Teeth
I Catch My Breath (excerpt)
Misplaced Alice
Upstairs Crow
Help Wanted (excerpt)
Does I Owning?
On the Radio
Bottom of the Lake (excerpt)

Copyright © 2002, Matt Briggs


From Soul Saver

In line for Bingo in Chimacum one day, I told my friend that the age of miracles had indeed passed. The recent scandal was that the pastor had run off with the wife of a young logger. He'd absconded with the small fortune raised through the weekly bingo games for the Chimacum Recreational Center. My friend pinched his nose ring and said that the age hadn't passed for lack of trying.

My daddy baptized me, my friend said, steaming out of my momma's womb, umbilical cord severed with the tin lid of a Hill Brother's Coffee can, in the cold gravel of Denny Creek.

From I Catch My Breath

I always win the footraces. Not that I'm really that quick, really, but I have the endurance that Mr. Hughes wants to develop in us. He stands in the middle of the track blowing his whistle. There are thirty of us in the seventh grade, and we've almost all come from other places to live nest to Lake Osassi at Aunt Leane's Farm and Girl School.

I am the only one who isn't Mormon and I am the only one who has never gotten in trouble. The other girls have silver lipstick cases hidden in the toes of their shoes or knotted in handkerchiefs stuffed into the back of their chest fo drawers. At night in the dorm, their cold voices arc from bed to bed like a bluish electricity. I'm afraid of them.

From Help Wanted


Gas Thief. This is a part-time position. If you can handle sucking down a Cherry Coke Big Gulp, you have marketable skills. Must bring own siphon, gas can, and a prof. 'tude.

From Bottom of the Lake

At six o'clock then they finally got to the lake, one edge stood in the shadows. Tiny flies and mosquitoes skimmed the surface of the dark water. The sun cut into the other side of the lake. They could see a granite shelf coated with a thin layer of underwater slime like an orange flannel blanket about twenty feet under.  The lake plunged over the shelf down into the green depths.

Taking a stone from the scree slope, heavy, dusty, coated with barnacles of Indian paintbrush and mold colonies hardened in the summer heat, David dove into the lake.