The way my uncle told it he was a sickly, skinny kid before the government men showed up in their suits that summer, carrying their big brief cases. A bright light had screamed across the sky and crashed into the piney woods over the ridge that week, and the men were stopping at every door to find out what people had or hadn't seen. My uncle told them he'd been running around out front swinging a stick when the big light passed over, said it wasn't round but looked more like an egg and that it made a flutter sound like a big June bug before it hit past the tree line. The men liked that last bit so much they wrote it down in their notebooks. Before they packed up to go, one of the men told my uncle he could fix the way his ears stuck out so bad, though it might hurt a bit. My uncle had always been sorry about the way he looked so let the man lay him down on the living room floor to work on him. The man rubbed his hands together real fast, then put them over each side of my uncle's head. He said the man's palms felt fire hot when he yanked on his ears and popped a crease in them to flatten them down. The pain was gone by the time the men stepped off the front porch, and my uncle always said he'd gained a pound a day after that and never had a bit of trouble getting to sleep.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack's work has appeared in Southern Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Pidgeonholes, The Shore, Cotton Xenomorph, Okay Donkey, EcoTheo, The Hopper, Terrain, saltfront and other journals. His latest collection is "No Brother, This Storm" (Mercer University Press, 2018). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.