She orders a rug from India, and six weeks later it arrives with a small child rolled up in it. “Am I in England?” the boy asks.
“Lord no,” Lois Nash says, “this is West Texas.” She notices a nametag on his blue shirt that reads Arjun, but she doesn’t attempt to pronounce it.
The boy stands, stretches, and gets to work on her house with a feather duster he has brought with him.
“Are you hungry?” Lois asks.
“Oh yes,” he says. “I had some rice balls and a bottle of water for the trip, but I finished those days ago.”
Lois points at a sofa and says, ”Stop that dusting and sit down here. I’ll give you juice and tea cakes to have while I make you some supper.” Arjun sits.
Lois brings a tray in, sets it down, and returns to the kitchen. From the stove she calls out, “You know anything about cattle?”
“Yes, I do,” Arjun says.
“Well, we might could train you to mend fence, and one day to get steers loaded for market. Of course, you got to learn how to hang back like some people have to when the Border Patrol is around.”
Lois returns with a plate of brisket sandwiches, and sees that Arjun has rolled himself back up in the rug.
has taught creative writing and literature at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of North Texas, and the Writer’s Garret, in Dallas. He now lives in Marfa, Texas. He is the author of This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash novel (Ravenna Press), Winter Investments: Stories (Trilobite Press), and Prairie Shapes: A Flash Novel (winner of the 2004 Robert J. DeMott Prose Contest). His poems, short stories, and creative nonfictions have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country, including Blink Ink, Cutbank, Eastern Iowa Review, New Flash Fiction Review, Star 82 Review, and Third Wednesday, among others.
More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond