Short Prose Contest Finalist:
Are We Having fun yet

by sean gill

The Cherry Lake Salvage Company charged us fifty dollars for the privilege: thirty for the junker, and twenty for the hammer rental (they always got you on the hammer rental), but Dad said it was worth it, "Cause it's better than a demolition derby, and how often do we get to bond like this anyhow?"

            Dad held his sledgehammer high and let it fall, smack dab in the center of the windshield. He said, "Boy, I'd do that to Old Man Clarke down at the bank if I had the guts."

            "But you don't," said Mom, and she took a little whack at the fuel panel and knocked it off its hinges.

            I raised my hammer with both arms and, muscles straining, bashed out a taillight.

            "Erica," said Mom, "leave those for Little Francine, will you?"

            "Francine can't even lift her hammer," I said, but as soon as I'd said it, Francine was shattering the other taillight and looking real proud of herself.

            "Isn't this something!" said Dad, standing on the hood and pounding on the roof. Francine was working on the headlights now, and, like always, I was trying to figure what to do without stepping on anybody's toes. Mom probably didn't think I saw her unscrewing the gas cap and dropping that flaming matchbook inside. (Guess she didn't know they always emptied it beforehand.) After nothing happened, she sorta shrank, like a loose balloon letting its air out. Pffft.

            "I'm so happy I could cry!" said Dad.


Sean Gill is a writer and filmmaker who won the 2016 Sonora Review Fiction Prize, the 2017 River Styx Micro-Fiction Contest, and The Cincinnati Review's 2018 Robert and Adele Schiff Award in Prose. Other recent work has been published or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, McSweeney's, ZYZZYVA, and The Common.