Twelve Arrows by: Stephen Graham Jones
My father claims to have no memory of the first one. But then, some mornings he doesn’t remember me so much either. If there were still doctors — or, if there were still doctor offices (I assume there’s still doctors scattered out there, living like we are) — the diagnosis would probably be some World War Three version of shell shock, synapses fried by the blast, pressure waves scrambling my father’s head, who knows.
Not that knowing why he doesn’t remember could in any way reclaim that arrow for us.
Like most everything else, it’s been consigned to ash. Like Mom, it was lucky enough to have gone on before all this.
At least that’s what Dad says.
The second arrow skipped past a frost-burned cow, skidded off a rotted tree, leaving a slanting-up scratch that I can still trace in the air, and then it winked out of existence. Just stopped being, like arrows do sometimes. This was four years ago. It’s still the arrow I look for the most, too. Maybe I’m sentimental.