Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

S H O R T   S T O R Y
THE FRIDGE
b y   i s a b e l l e   s o j f e r   ~   p a r i s ,   f r a n c e

AFTER MY grandmother died, she refused to go to a cemetery. What could we say? We removed the lower shelves from the fridge, and kept her from the waist up in the vegetable tray. She smiled every time we pulled the handle -- hi, how are you this morning? We would leave the door open and chat with her while having breakfast.

She wasnít much trouble. The only problem was the space she took up. We did not want to hurt her feelings, but we needed to store our food and drinks. We bought a second fridge without letting her know. We started using it. It wasnít long before she suspected something. "Where have you been?" she asked. "Itís not that I want to check on you, but I worry when I donít see you for a whole day!" She cried, we hugged her. She smelled of unwashed lettuce.

My parents decided to split up. Mom went to an ashram in Mejorado, Dad moved to New York City. My brother went off to college while I stayed alone with Grandma. One night, my boyfriend opened her fridge by mistake and she shrieked in horror. He shrieked in horror, too, I guess I should have told him about her. He never came back to my place after that. Grandma gave me a lecture about letting naked men walk around the house but I didnít listen, I slammed the door on her. I donít care if this makes me sound like a horrible person. I moved out of the house. The neighbors came in and took care of Grandma until Mom was back from Mejorado.

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