In 5 days we publish Colin Winnette’s Fondly, two novellas. As the cover exposes the innards of a thing, so will we, each day revealing another illustration from the book by artist Scott Teplin alongside excerpts from the novellas In One Story, The Two Sisters and Gainesville.
The wound from the amputation didn’t heal well, and the blind, one-legged sister left streaks of blood in the hallways of the house, stains on her wheelchair-bound sister’s lap. When they bathed together the water would cloud with blood. After only a short time, the wheelchair-bound sister was tired of all the mess and stink in the house. She thought of drowning her sister in the bath, but it seemed an unforgivable act. She went ahead with it, though, held her sister just under the surface and looked away. It took a very long time, but the wheelchair-bound sister dug a person-sized hole in the backyard and buried her dead, blind, one-legged sister near the roots of the tree that still held the old man she loved.
After that, she was totally alone. People say she wheeled herself out to the graves daily. They say she lowered herself from her wheelchair, sat on the ground with her hands behind her back, her fingers in the grass and dirt. They say she did this for years, would have done it forever, but her fingers spread into the ground behind her and took root. Her backside settled into the mud and her dress sank. Her body hardened until there was nothing left but a medium-size squat oak growing up beside the wheelchair. The two trees grew apart from one another for years until the old oak collapsed. The bodies made the soil rich, and the young oak flourished. So there’s nothing out there now but an abandoned house and a healthy looking oak beside an old wheelchair.
That’s the story they tell, and with no better explanation at hand, we sit back and try to make ourselves comfortable. We listen for the parts that sound true.
–from In One Story, The Two Sisters