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Violetta

Andrea Hansell

When I met Violetta I was bulky with my first pregnancy. We’d just moved into the old Victorian house and I knew nobody in the neighborhood. She walked in through the kitchen door. Hello, Mother, I’ve been playing, she said, an odd statement from a woman with spiderweb wrinkles from forehead to collarbone. Sniffing the soup on the stove, she said, I’m hungry. I asked where she lived, and she giggled. In this house, silly! I shivered, recalling old ghost stories, then checked her tattered purse. She was a resident of a nearby nursing home. She ate some soup, then I drove her back. She reappeared the next day with a scraped knee—from roller skating, she said—and I offered her a Band-Aid and some apple juice. I should have reported her, but she was company. I called the nursing home when she stopped coming. They told me they had banded her, set an alarm. Like a captured bird, she could no longer migrate home.

Andrea Hansell is a retired clinical psychologist. She has published short stories and memoirs in literary journals including Minerva Rising, Intima, and Lascaux Review. Her short stories and flash fiction have been named finalists for the Lascaux Prize, the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, and the Gival Press Short Story Award.