“If in the Night a Grizzly Bear” in Fourteen Hills

July 28, 2016

Fourteen-Hills-Vol-222

A beautiful new issue of Fourteen Hills was recently released, and it includes my short story “If in the Night a Grizzly Bear,” which, out of all the stories I’ve written, has the best title.

The journal is print-only, but if you can get your hands on it, I hope you enjoy the story. It’s about a troubled man coming to terms with events in his past, which include surviving a plague of red dust and being subjected to a painful ordeal with a mysterious machine. The title comes from a “Montana lullaby” his grandfather sang to him:

1.

If in the night a grizzly bear

Comes slinking through your door,

He’ll take a taste

Of your face

When you start to snore.

 

A grizzly bear’s a ghastly beast

With teeth as sharp as knives.

He’ll turn your tongue into a feast

And gobble up your eyes.

 

2.

If in the night a grizzly bear

Comes crawling in your room,

Don’t delay,

Just start to pray

Before you meet your doom.

 

A grizzly bear’s a loathsome lout

With black and empty eyes.

He’ll open you from gut to snout

And snack on your insides.

 

3.

If in the night a grizzly bear

Comes growling in your home,

You’re out of luck

‘Cause he will suck

The meat off all your bones.

 

A grizzly bear’s a gruesome brute

With paws of razor claws.

Your tender parts are juicy fruit

In his wretched jaws.

 

4.

If in the night a grizzly bear

Comes creeping to your bed,

You’ll hope to die

After you eyes

Are gobbled from your head.

 

A grizzly bear’s a fiendish fiend

With fur as soft as lace.

He’ll give a belch after he’s cleaned

The meat off of your face.

 

I hope everyone’s having a nice summer.

 

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