What we do not have in our boots, what we have not found in our shoes, not ever, are the scorpions. Nights, Father torments their nest with matches launched lit from the front porch. He sets them to scatter and we get to stomping. The thing to know about our stingers is that only fire will do. Father says: These are fast but not impossible. Father sits watch while the rest of us fleetfoot. Our scorpions, they are fantastic, spinning out from some blistered center. Our heels come crunching and the crawlers bust open, flared and clacking, still smoking—a shade of orange only we in this family have seen. Father says: Hiding is two-sided. He makes even the littlest among us take a good look.
Kimberly King Parsons’s writing has appeared in Time Out New York, elimae, 360 Main Street, The Chapbook Review, The Faster Times, and Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She lives in Queens and is working on a short story collection about liars.