Two Stories by Benjamin Niespodziany

"Raining Drain Pipes And" by Sylvia Yu /

Catch with Skeleton

My skeleton and I throw a baseball in my family’s backyard. My skeleton is stronger than me. It tosses the baseball too far, gets it stuck in the tree. In the garage, I grab the ladder and climb up the tree to retrieve the ball. A boat on the river passes by with hot dogs for sale. I grab the baseball from the top of the tree and throw it down to my skeleton. “Don’t throw it so hard next time.” My skeleton nods a false nod. Inside my house, my father sleeps alone on the love seat. He dreams about clouds, nosebleeds, and the only time we were all together in his car.



You Invite Me

You invite me over to your home. It’s raining drain pipes. I knock on your door. It’s raining steak knives. Your wife answers the door. She says you’re out back. It’s raining cat furs. I run around the side of the house. You’re in the shed. I knock on the shed. It’s raining live Clydesdales. You open the shed and lower your shoulders. You’re wearing a welding mask and a hazmat suit. It’s raining roosters and hens. You say you’re too busy for company. I hear something growl within the border of your shadow. You slam the door closed. Your wife sees it all from the hallway window. She understands. It’s raining tin cans. I turn around and head to my car. In the front doorway your wife holds a tray of cheesecake squares. I walk over and extend my hand but the squares dissolve before my reach arrives. Your wife smiles as her teeth sleep by the sink. It’s raining stained glass.



Benjamin Niespodziany has had work published in Fairy Tale Review, Paper Darts, Hobart, and various others. He works in a library at the University of Chicago and runs the multimedia art blog [neonpajamas].