Dogs Are Born Hungry

My short fiction, “Dogs Are Born Hungry,” is up in the beautiful new issue of Storychord. Storychord takes a writer, and matches them with a visual artist and a musician, and together they stitch together an issue of a single story, a piece of art, and a musical composition, in many cases inspired directly by or created directly for the story. This issue was curated by the wonderful Ben Woodard.

I wrote “Dogs Are Born Hungry,” like I am wont to do, in a feverish panic in probably one sitting (and then spent tedious months editing it and doubting it). It’s about a girl, Caroline, with divorced-ish parents, with no real friends, and a bunch of new puppies, and some low grade terror.

By the time the last of the pups are born, there’s blood all over the kitchen floor, smears in vague, squirming animal shapes. The tongue of our dog, oddly calm and busy at the same time, licking at everything: herself, her puppies, the floor.

“We can’t keep them,” my mother says, like she’d been saying all along.

I think more than anything this story is about a girl’s relationship with her world and with her mother. But also, she’s terrified. She’s unsure of herself. I love writing this sort of uncertainty because, hey, write what you know!

I spin around, my stomach lurching. It’s so much eerier in chorus: all one day, the same outfit, the same unidentifiable background, brown and yellow, varying bright spots, dozens of mes. I pull one down and regret it because what if this is a crime and what if the police come and see my fingerprints on something and say listen, we are tired of following Caroline around with her fingerprints on crimes supposedly happening to her. Listen, maybe it’s time we took a closer look at Caroline. Listen, maybe she is doing this to herself, maybe she called them cunts, and maybe she slammed her own face against the porcelain and maybe she pinned her own pictures up on a wall. Listen. Maybe Caroline’s the problem.

Enjoy the story. You can read it all here, and feast your eyes and ears upon the accompanying artwork by Andrés Montiel and music by Jbdub113: http://www.storychord.com/2017/07/issue-146-julia-dixon-evans-andres.html 

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