An excerpt from Mary Otis’ short story, “Stones:”

In a rush, Allison relates the afternoon’s events at the library, and her abridgement makes the story sound like the review of a wacky puppet show. She is hurrying to get to the climax, the moment in the story that confirms there’s something inherently wrong with the way she conducts herself in life.

“How coud I have thrown a rock at a child?”

“Oh, kids have nine lives,” says Rae. “Take it from me.” She has little bits of orange yarn woven through the two long braids she wears. For all her Earth Mother demeanor, there’s something about the way she squints and cocks her head toward Allison that makes her come off like a crooked heath-food store owner.

“But maybe I’m a lot angrier than I thought I was,” Allison says. “Although I don’t think I want to hurt anyone.” She trues to recall the professional term for this problem, but can only come up with “Sneaky Rage.”