Photographic Evidence – Emmy Moore
My brother loved bones. George collected pictures of skeletons from archaeological digs, some cobbled together like a child’s art project, some whole and more recent. He’d curated hundreds—cut from magazines, copied from library books, printed from the internet—and carried them everywhere. He could tell you where the largest human skeleton was found (Bulgaria) and the precise cause of death for the people of Pompeii (injuries from falling rocks, not suffocation), and when the little girl went missing, all heads turned toward the strange boy whose eyes never quite met yours, the freak with pockets full of dead people.
When the police arrived, George didn’t look surprised. I saw his feelings in places other than his face, like his feet when he stood and let his pictures fall out of order; his hands, twisting against the tightness of the cuffs; and, as they led him out, his shoulders, curled inward and away. “Guilt isn’t always something you can prove,” our Sunday School teacher had said on Channel 11 the morning they’d found the girl’s body. “Sometimes it’s something you just know.” I told myself it was their ignorance, their hate that made me drop the pictures one by one into the sink and flip the disposal switch; but still, it was only after his collection, that well-loved proof of abnormality, dissolved— first a sodden clump, then mangled by the blades, then gone like it was never there— that I could finally breathe.
Emmy Moore is a waitress, writer, and third year fiction candidate at Old Dominion University. Some of her other work can be found in Deep South Magazine and Flash Fiction Magazine.