Death

by Chanel Earl

 

They built a sign on the corner of Center and Main. It had little tracks to run the letters along, like movable type. But the letters fell off and the youth dance became the “YOU         A  CE,” or the “   O  TH    AN   E”—I can’t remember which. Maybe it was the “   OU      D    CE.” Christmas became “C   RI  TM   S,” and we all celebrated “   OTHERS   AY” in May, which became “    O    E   S      Y” when they forgot to change the letters in June. And then one day, the people left, and they closed down the dance hall. The bank and the diner were the next to go. They closed down the gas station, and then they closed down the town. They closed down the sign too, for all practical purposes. And for years it simply read “  ODE   ”—its last message, all that was left of the summer Rodeo.

 

Chanel Earl recently graduated with her MFA in fiction from BYU. For more about her work, check out chanelearl.com or follow chanels.stories on Instagram.