Eddie covered his ears like his father taught him. The mittens felt warm on his ears—the lobes his classmates always said were too big— folded layer of fabric as a barrier against percussion, took his mind off of his stomach ache. Ringing filled his head and cleared out all thoughts but one: his father had lied. The Remington 870 had to be the loudest shotgun ever made.

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Ryan Kauffman is an associate editor for Passages North and an instructor at Northern Michigan University. His previous work has appeared in Rathalla Review, The Rumpus, and Word Riot.

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