Green Hills Literary Lantern




power company




dear Mr. Trellis,

i’m sorry and i would of ritten u sooner, but the power company turns off the grid every nite. i just got home from work. i was pickin’ up an xtra shift for Rona Anne, when i realized i had to get home to rite u (right?), ’cause u been watchin’ my baby since it was born at sociall cervice that u own. yep, u remember my baby was born in ur office ’cause there ain’t no other place i could afford and ’cause ur the father, of course.

i thot u were bein’ a shit to tell me that it ain’t u the dad of…geez, u wouldn’t tell me if it’s a boy or gurl. i mean how would i get hung on those junkies in my hall, or the old guy gettin’ his foot chewed on by the rats. he dead, anyhow. so u gotta be its daddy, Mr. Trellis. ’cause u climbed up my fyre escape and into my place, when the power company turned off the grid. that was months ago. u told me to take off my clothes, ’cause they wasn’t mine u said, i believed u, sonofabitch, u sawer me, u touched my tits and put yr hand on my pussy, u said it was an exam. But the power had just went off, so how could u examine me…u were just humpin’ me, but i got back and got on top of u, and took u inside me again.

in the mornin’ u was gone, the rest is history—i got taken to ur office by this cop, who furst screwed me in the park, in the dark too. u had a doctor there and he said i was with child. u were sweet then, visitin’ me every week and sometimes bringin’ the doctor and sometimes other guys, all fuckin’ around with me till i got round and tipsy. the day came when my water broke and u took me to ur office, where the doctor gave me a shot, i was asleep and the next thing was i was up and u had some dude take me home. the baby is the “property of the state.” but i want my baby. please gimme my baby. the power grid’s goin’ off again.

urs truly,




Arthur Lindenberg is the founding editor of The MacGuffin. His stories have been published in The Medulla Review, Forge, Licking River Review, and other journals. He has an upcoming publication in Crack the Spine. Lindenberg taught creative writing for nearly fifty years and has attended numerous AWP conferences. An avid amateur photographer, he has visited fifty-eight countries—and still counting.