US vs. The McKinleys

US vs The McKinleys


Grandfather ordered the bridge burned when he heard the McKinleys’ relatives were coming in for reinforcement. Already for days we’d heard them down Archer Avenue yelling about how Dinky ought bring beer since he a cripple and all. But we knew Dinky was only along for the ride, the older generation having years ago witnessed Dark Dan and Tiger as four-year-olds rip apart a county fair’s big win stuffed lion for the fun of it. They’d only gotten worse from there.

My mama was quick to comply with the orders, went two and three towns over to purchase gasoline, though Aunt Mary dragged her feet. She was the family arsonist, could make anything look like an accident, but Dark Dan was a crush from long ago and she couldn’t bear the thought of never seeing him again.

“Of course you can see him,” Grandfather growled. “Take the hang glider over the ravine. Travel hundred miles outta your way to take in the scenery at Cavern Rock, then cross the bridge there. Options, you got ‘em. I don’t. Get out there and burn down the William T. Gringus Memorial.”

I stayed home with my eyes glued on the TV. Channel 10 might be the first on the scene like always, and I would be the first to lay eyes on Kenty Cunningham as she baby-whispered into the shocked camera, “The West Side Softball Feud has officially gone too far.”

Magdalen Zinky

Magdalen Zinky is a writer and theatre artist based in New York City. She holds an MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Acting from the College of Santa Fe. Her fiction has been published in Red Sky and Knack Magazine and is forthcoming in Plane Tree Journal. She was the recipient of the 2016 LGBTQ Scholarship for a writing residency with SAFTA in Knoxville, TN. She is a founding member of The Junkyard Theatre Company, a company member of the Daughters Collective, and the host of the podcast The 24 Hour Woman.


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