2011 winter fiction ahistory

by Robert Paul Moreira

The gap in her teeth is a valley that howls with the Ghibli of her mother's distrust. Herodotus wrote of such storms—sun-laden, sand-packed, vengeful gusts that swept through Ancient Egypt in the driest seasons, and pummeled dromedaries and sun-soaked caravans and Bedouin with cruel, parched dust. Sand storms, like the Aajej and the Harmattan, that interred the Sphinx, neck deep, the way Bonaparte found her: silent and forgotten. All of this in my daughter's fragile smile. The gap between her young incisors, her limestone pylons at Karnak, just as her mother gathers and rolls into the Simoom, "The Poisoning Wind," and swoops in hissing with screams and yells and curses as she lashes, cuts into my arm, embalms me in front of her, my daughter, with daggered words— "Fucking bastard!"

Neck deep, I tremble; my daughter crumbles in the storm.

About the Author

Robert Paul Moreira is Assistant Fiction Editor for Dark Sky Magazine. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Storyglossia, Metazen, Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature, and other literary journals. His short story, "Cobb and Me," forthcoming in Aethlon, won the 2009 Best Graduate Fiction Award from the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers (TACWT). More of his works can be found at www.robertpaulmoreira.com.

Maintained or neglected, familiar or foreign, well-worn or wild, roadways inform our decisions and identities. Their geographies direct the movement
of our lives and sketch the cartography of our stories. In this spirit, 322 Review publishes provocative emerging and established artists whose fiction,
creative nonfiction, poetry, and mixed media artwork wander the paths of human experience. A nonprofit literary journal conceived
and operated by former Rowan University graduate students, 322 Review is based in Southern New Jersey.