Dariel Suarez
Beets

Dariel Suarez - Beets

Fiction
Dariel Suarez is a Cuban-born writer who came to the United States in 1997. He earned his M.F.A. in fiction… Read more »
Janice Greenwood
Patience

Janice Greenwood - Patience

Fiction
Janice Greenwood’s writing has appeared in Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, and New England Review. She was recently nominated for… Read more »
Jesse Donaldson
The First Moons of Sitting Bull

Jesse Donaldson - The First Moons of Sitting Bull

Fiction
Jesse Donaldson is a graduate of Kenyon College and The Michener Center for Writers. He’s worked as a groundskeeper for… Read more »
Robert Guthrie
The Glass

Robert Guthrie - The Glass

Fiction
Robert Guthrie lives in Little Rock, AR with a pair of red-headed women. Aside from the story featured in this… Read more »

Beets

Dariel Suarez

Yeyo torques his clutched hand at the base of the greens, where the beet root peeks out of the ground almost tauntingly, but he can't grab hold. His small fingers keep slipping. After a few tries he switches from a twist to more of a pull, then a rattle. The bulbous root shakes, the soil around it trembles, but just barely. Eventually the greens snap off. Yeyo has to dig once again, jam muck into his already grubby fingernails. The dirt in them has solidified. Scraping the grime with the sharp end of branch or a fork no longer works. The tips of his fingers are permanently brown.

During his three-week stay at the youth labor camp in Güira de Melena, Yeyo has picked tomatoes, gathered cucumbers, and planted garlic. Nothing has been as exasperating as the beets. They're obstinate and cling to him. The arch between his thumbs and index fingers has turned purple from the constant friction. Mutant claws, he calls them. He's scrubbed his hands tirelessly, but the stains won't come off. They're like dried ink on paper.

Yeyo finally yanks the stubborn root, plunks it into a burlap sack, and takes a glimpse at… Read more »