“Memories of a Gun” by Diane Payne

My sister and I were reminiscing about the shithole days when Dad picked up a knife and threatened to stab all of us at the dinner table, and, when playing a board game, he picked up a gun, and pushed it against our heads.

Years ago, before guns were everywhere, I remember walking over to a neighbor’s trailer and having sex. I don’t remember much about the sex, but I do remember my head resting on the lumpy pillow. I reached under it and felt something hard. I wondered how we could live in this safe trailer park surrounded by trees in a mountain town, and he felt a need for this, but I never locked my door? I walked home filled with an unfamiliar shame.


“Memories of a Gun” first appeared in The Offing, 2017.

Image: René Magritte Le survivant 1950. Oil on canvas. Brussels, Belgium

Diane Payne

Diane’s most recent publications and forthcoming include: Best of Microfiction2022, Abandon Journal, Cutleaf, Another Chicago Magazine, Whale Road Review, Pine Hills Review, Tiny Spoon, Ellipsis, Bending Genres, New York Times, Unlikely Stories,, Hot Flash Fiction, The Blue Nib, anti-heroin chic, X-ray Literary Magazine, Oyster Review, Novus, Notre Dame Review, Obra/Artiface, Reservoir, Southern Fugitives, Spry Literary Review, Watershed Review, Superstition Review, Windmill Review, Tishman Review, Whiskey Island, Quarterly, Fourth River, Lunch Ticket, Split Lip Review, The Offing, Elke: A little Journal, Punctuate, Outpost 19, McNeese Review, The Meadow, Burnt Pine, Story South, and Five to One. 


Twitter:  @zebedol
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paul beckman

Diane, I really liked this. Perfect ending.

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