Matthew Manley
Maggie Flood

    Young Maggie Flood, not yet 13, would sit at home and expurgate the texts of her home: gone, Gilgamesh's Enkidu; effaced, every "begat" in Genesis; almost completely vanished, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare under the auspices of her pudgy, red hand and thick black marker.

    'Such a pure mind,' wondered the Church deacons.

    'I approve fully,' blustered the headmaster.

    'I am not so sure,' said Ms. Marmalade, the seventh grade humanities instructor.

    And so young Maggie crossed her out, too.

    Only Beth, the younger Flood girl, knew the truth – knew how at night the bowdlerized material would come forth from her sister in erotic dreams, iambic sleep-talk, and fevered grasping. She would sit up late at night and listen from across the bedroom, covering the cat's ears.