Telethon by Kathryn Kulpa

Do you remember when Gran came over and took a nap after Sunday dinner with her teeth in a pink plastic cup and we borrowed not stole her wheelchair and gave each other rides in it, first just the long hill of the driveway where I dared you to sled into the road that time and we got yelled at by the mailman but then farther, all the way down our street, wheeling ourselves, wheeling each other, doing wheelies, waving at the neighbors who stared and then that little side street where no one we knew lived and I said let’s pretend I’m really crippled and I sat with my feet up and head hanging down like a big tired moon and I was a wheelchair girl, a rare disease girl, a Jerry Lewis raising money for me on TV girl, and the old man raking leaves in the yard with the bathtub Mary believed us and said how brave I was, how good you were to take care of your sister, he would pray for us, and I couldn’t stand it, I jumped up and did a cartwheel and screamed It’s a miracle!, and he grabbed his old man-boob chest and said we were bad girls, and God is not mocked!, and we ran the empty wheelchair back up our street and sat with Gran for the rest of the day, watching her afternoon stories even though she only liked boring shows like The Waltons, sat criss-cross on our hands, hiding the black grease rub from the wheelchair wheels, and when she asked what did you girls do all day we said, we always said, nothing.

KATHRYN KULPA — Kathryn has stories in Atticus Review, Gone Lawn, New World Writing, and X-R-A-Y Lit Mag. Her work was included in Best Microfiction 2020 and 2021.

Art by AMY FELDMAN — Amy is a self-taught pen and pencil illustrator from Massachusetts. She is the operations manager at a local nonprofit. Find her on Instagram @stretch.e.kins.