Short Story #3: The Pulga

TO celebrate National Short Story Month, VAO Publishing is posting some of the fiction pieces published in last year’s Along the River.

Today we present Evangelina Ayon’s “The Pulga,” which won the third-place prize for prose.


Yawning, I fought the urge to drop my head the entire drive. The only thing keeping me awake was the thrill of a new experience. Glancing at my mother’s face in the rear view mirror, I knew she didn’t share my excitement. Her face was hard, and those black eyes stayed stony the entire drive, except for those rare occasions when the stones melted into glistening pools of water that ran down her face then disappeared forever. The sun had not yet risen, yet my stomach was wide awake and burning with hunger. But I would’ve starved before complaining to that face in the rear view mirror.

Continue reading