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by Winston Bribach

Daniel Inoue gripped the barbed wire and peered into the darkness. He thought the night would look different in Arkansas, a state he’d only known from geography quizzes in school. He was eight, but he knew the truth when he felt it, and he felt in his soul what had only been words to him before. The world didn’t revolve around him, didn’t respond to his wants, his cries — to the things he’d lost because all they could see was his Japanese face. Daniel clenched harder. He felt the needle pierce the skin of his palm. Blood trickled down his fist and fell onto the dirt.

“Hey kid! Get away from there!” shouted the soldier in the guard tower.

His shoulders recoiled. Daniel stopped his body from following the instinct to run. The soldier continued to yell at him. Other voices on the ground joined in the chorus. Their rushing footsteps closed in on him. He clenched his fist harder and concentrated on the sky. One darkness was as good as another.

Winston Bribach is an Asian American writer and scholar currently pursuing his PhD in English at Texas A&M University. He is a fiction reader for CRAFT and his work appears in FlashBack Fiction. Find him on Twitter @WinBribach.