The Recurrence

Todd Zuniga

The rules of The Recurrence were: anyone who had ever been missed could come back. The expectation from the living was that the streets would flood with the dead, overflow that would squeeze every space, pundits on airwaves concerned with crowding. But day of, when no dead Recurred, there was a mad sadness, fingernails against floors and pillows wet with cry. Suicides in droves, a national emergency. For so long we had carried our missing in tiny bags, closed up, but given the chance we romanticized our hurt, split open the seams, let it consume us. Our egos couldn't believe that out there, anywhere, there was something better than us.

Todd Zuniga is the founding editor of Opium Magazine and a co-founder of the Literary Death Match reading series. His fiction has appeared most recently in Canteen. He's now at work on the tentatively titled "Passport," a non-fiction collection about memory and home that covers 20 countries.