Excerpt from The Face of God by Angela Locke

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The following short story appears in our Summer 2017 issue. The entire issue is available for immediate download.

Had anyone asked, she would have sworn she’d seen car lights coming down the long gravel driveway toward her singular stone abode in the middle of, as her sister said, absolute nowhere. That’s why, despite the fact that the dog hadn’t even woken, she had leapt from her bed, twisting her ankle in an uneven groove of the stone floor and falling—infuriatingly and exactly—onto the dog’s Wedgwood china water bowl. She’d bought the bowl in a fit of condescension toward the wealthy people who owned the land on which she lived, at one of their estate sales for a fraction of its worth, just for the petty pleasure of watching her coonhound-heeler mix lap water—no, you couldn’t call what Beast did lapping; she called it “gulfing,” a portmanteau of gulp and wolf it down—from a tureen valued more on the market than she had brought home in a month of teaching.

The bowl cracked from her fall and sliced her skin in that weird, sinewy place between the thumb and pointer. When she tried to get up, she slipped, fell again, and grabbed an exposed edge. It deepened the cut.

Angela LockeANGELA LOCKE is a writer and teacher who spends winters in knee-deep snow in Syracuse, New York, where she facilitates an English language program for refugees and immigrants. She looks forward to the June gloom of early summer in Santa Barbara, California, writing stories and playing on the beach with her three grandchildren. Either place, she is accompanied by her go-to girl, Emma, a heeler-pit bull mix.