David E. Yee
Winner of the October 2017 Prime Number Magazine Flash Fiction Contest
Judged by Jeffrey Condran, author of A Fingerprint Repeated and Prague Summer
Followed by a Q&A
Was told it meant support like sustenance—twin bed soldiers of one body. My older brother had a voice like knuckles, always spoke to me in bruises. I lived to argue. His front teeth crossed like hands holding, and I used to imagine loosing them down his throat. Too-fat kid that festered in his skin; I knew it was hard to be him based on how ashamed I was of his company. That’s not to say he didn’t teach me to throw a punch.
That snow day, the neighborhood jumped from playground to blizzard drift. My brother leapt and our neighbor, Stephen, cried Avalanche! I stood above, waiting for my turn to fall while they threw fists like generalizations—glancing, yet on the whole, inaccurate. My older brother, doe-legged with exhaustion, tripped, rolling on his back while Stephen booted the earth by his uncapped head.
Against the snow, his curls were my grandma’s curls, his asymmetrical dimple, my mother’s, and my blood tipped with the very violence he’d warmed in me. I’d grown up watching pain mark his face with pocks, yet to intervene meant denying the chance for a kick, not too wounding but hard enough to possibly drain the fury from him. While I lingered, they went home the way boys often do—full of hurt and unscathed.
The cold soaked my boots still frozen to the ledge. From the swing, my younger brother watched me hover, the noise in the chain singing—Cow-ard. Weak-ling. Cow-ard. Weak-ling.
David E. Yee is an Asian American writer currently residing in Columbus, Ohio. Sometimes he misses Baltimore. He has an MFA in Fiction from the Ohio State University where he was an Associate Editor for The Journal. In 2017, he won the New Ohio Review Contest in fiction, judged by Colm Toibin. His work has been published or is forthcoming in American Short Fiction, Seneca Review, Gulf Coast Online, AGNI Online, and elsewhere.
With what fictional character would you most love to spend the day?
Margaret Handle from The Bird Artist. She drinks whisky then shoots at the birds outside her window with a pistol. Regularly.
What is your favorite day of the week?
Whichever day of the week I’m not working.
Which movie have you seen over and over again? What keeps you coming back?
City of God. It’s just visually striking and relentlessly mean.