By Sudha Balagopal

Bobby’s stomach growls. But Mom’s on the phone with the bank, crying. Dad’s working without pay, she says. She asks how they will eat, and why does nothing work—the bank’s loan department, the government, or her car.

Bobby spreads hardened peanut butter on bread. He cuts the sandwich into four pieces, saves three.

Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Jellyfish Review, New World Writing and New Flash Fiction Review among others. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn, and two short story collections.

One thought on “Shutdown

  1. On the Monday after the first missed paycheck, I handed out ten (not a lot) gift cards to TSA workers. Each of us can make a real difference. We set the world’s record for peanut butter sandwiches at our house.


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