Excerpt from the short story “Gypsy”
I wake up sweating waterfalls and cursing out the air-conditioning unit. I kick my mismatched blankets off of myself and sit up, pulling back my dark hair and securing it with a rubber band. I look over at the clock—it’s flipped off, for some reason. My stomach sinks when I try, and fail, to turn the lamp on. I heave myself up and trudge to the living area of the trailer.
My mother is sitting at the ‘dining’ table, candles lit around her, providing minimal light. She looks over at me and says, her voice thick and wavering as she holds the electric bill, “Violca—I’m so sorry, chaj.”
I sit down across from her, wincing at both the squeak of the chair and how sad she sounded on that last word, the term for ‘daughter’. “Daj—no, it’s okay. We’ll find a way to fix it.”
“No. I will find a way to fix it. You—you can go back to bed. Don’t worry; I’ll fix it.”