Weekly Rumpus Fiction: Jill Hanley


The next Weekly Rumpus features fiction from Jill Hanley. Here’s an excerpt:

Lola stepped into the kitchen to find her mother standing at the sink, showing no signs of tears. She could still remember how hard, loud, and ugly her mother’s tears had been at Lola’s aunt’s funeral; when Asher had put the Saint Anthony medal her aunt had worn around her mother’s neck, tears and snot had gotten all over his hands. (Asher, who had been fourteen at the time, had called the whole scene Snottergate for years.) Lola had thought it was all understandable but a bit much; even at eleven, she had thought that her mother should cry in secret, as one does, muffling the sound with towels wedged in the cracks in the doors and hands smashed against one’s face. And even now that her mother, for all intents and purposes, had stopped crying, Lola still waited for her to crumple into a chair, bury her face in her hands, and begin.

The last funeral at which she had cried had been the third—her husband’s. At the fourth, her niece’s funeral, she was completely dry.

Jill Hanley is a 2013 Kenyon College graduate with a degree in English.

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