Excerpt: 'The Young Orator' by Sarah Sarai


To recreate the fabled Chinese water torture gleaned from purloined reads of the
sensationalist tabloids (which her mother warned would taint her perfect moral being),
Princess’s sister, Sally, lowered her index finger


on Princess’s head, right where the stem could connect Princess to her halo.

Peeved, resilient and unaware of alternatives, Princess was always eager for attention.
Eight-years old, she was life’s epicenter.

Herb Bing was at the wheel, his grip shaky, his rear end tense.  He was moving his family
from New York to Chicago, where they’d seen an aged aunt and the Great Lakes, then
Route 66 to Oklahoma, to New Mexico and further west.  Heading west.  Pumping the
brakes, hitting the gas. “California, here we come,” he threatened, unaware it was California
that threatened him.

In the passenger seat, his wife Florine prayed for a new life in the west, asked God to transform Herb.

Maybe kill him.


Excerpted from The Young Orator by Sarah Sarai, published by Winged City, 2014. Republished with permission of the author.

About the Author:

Sarah Sarai is a poet and author of a poetry collection, The Future Is Happy. Her work has appeared in Threepenny Review, PANK, and Eleven Eleven.