I’m thrilled to have my short story, Billy Echo, up at Electric Literature’s “The Outlet” blog.
We all forgave Billy his silences because, truth be told, understanding him was a few yards past impossible. His first words were “Gimme gimme,” not because he said it twice but because the echo was already there. At first no one noticed. Some thought it a stutter. His grandmother, the first to see his lips didn’t move with his words, said, “That boy’s not right.” She said that about most, so it was ignored. But by the time Billy and I had reached our double-digit years, by the time we noticed girls and their differences and how we might feel about them, the echo had gotten worse, words overlapping from the moment he started the first syllable. Billy gave up on talking much at all.