Kristy Bowen, the terrible place #3, 2019
Digital collage

It's the 80s and my parents go bowling every Friday night like clockwork, leaving I and my sister
alone in the house. Alone in the house , we watch the killers carve their ways through camp
counselors and backwoods towns. Then tuck ourselves into bed, safe in our cat pajamas. When it
thunders, we shudder, but the doors are locked tight. The windows streaked with rain. The call is
always coming from inside the house. Inside the house, we smell like lavender and candy. Inside
the house, the babysitters we never have are walking, one by one, into the basement. One night, a
car idles for an hour at the end of the driveway. I stand in shadow at the patio door, my mother's
largest carving knife in my fist. The tv glows and swells.

Kristy Bowen