See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Made in China 

Tom Driver, Croswell • Grand Prize, Flash Fiction

 

The guys from the shop are over and dismantle the wood chipper. They dig a hole by the back yard fire pit and bury it.

“Shit steel — thin gauge,” Lou says.

“Cheap screws — stripped threads,” Frank adds.

We toast the burial with beers. With the bandages, I fumble my can. “Sign him for the Lions!” Lou says and slaps me on the back.

I’m not sure what happened. The guys say shoddy product. I say some dark force, some subconscious pull lured me into the blades.

With my cleft hands, I’m a carnival freak, a circus show lobster boy. My 3-year-old is even afraid of me. “You have pincers, daddy, like a crab.”

The wives and girlfriends show with the salsa and potato salad. The coals glow and the burgers smoke. I’m not hungry. My nubs throb and my heart aches. I want to toss the Frisbee.

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