By Madeline Anthes
In Indiana there were fewer people than cornstalks and everyone looked related. The boys scared me. They were milk stained and thick jawed and looked through fences and shotgun barrels hoping to catch a coyote. They tugged on overall straps and called to me as I ran to my Grandpa’s house.
I never told folks back home about the turtle. I told them about the cicadas and how warm the lake water was and how you can’t tip cows no matter how hard you try.
My Grandpa caught the turtle with his bare hands in ankle deep water. It had a hook nose and tiny slitted eyes. It looked mean, so I didn’t feel bad when he said we were having turtle soup for dinner. My sister and I danced around him as he cut it up on our old euchre table.
We were delighted when he handed us the heart. We took it to the lake and washed it off to see what it looked like. It kept beating in our hands. My sister said it was calling for its body.
My sister named it Beat-rix Potter. We fought over who could hold it next and it kept pumping purple liquid into our hands as we passed it back and forth. It smelled like metal and earth, dirty and clean at the same time.
I never told the folks back home about the turtle and how large its heart looked in our small hands. How her blood pulsed over our knuckles, thick like syrup. How when it stopped beating, we cried, as if it was at that moment the turtle died.
Madeline received her MFA from Arcadia University. She has been published in several journals, including Whisperings Magazine and Jersey Devil Press, and has a story forthcoming in WhiskeyPaper. Originally from Cleveland, she lives outside of Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two dachshunds. She enjoys traveling, coffee, and Tudor history. You can find out more information about her by visiting madelineanthes.com, or say hello on Twitter at @maddieanthes.
Art by Jenny Germann
Jenny’s work is based on locations that hold significance in her life. She uses landscapes to convey experiences, often drawing influence from travel and daily observations. She uses a blend of pyrography (woodburning) and painting to express her vision. Pyrography lends a controlled and physically satisfying aspect to the work, whereas the painting is experimental and evocative. She mix the mediums as a way to communicate a perspective, using making as a form of introspection, and personal expression. Originally from Kansas, She lives and works in Lancaster. She earned my BFA from the University of Kansas and is currently working toward as MS from Eastern University in nonprofit management