The Bears

The bears are expert musicians, or so they like to think. If you were to meet one, he would plainly say, beaming underneath his feathered top hat, “I am an expert musician. A master of all sorts.”
You‘ll want to prove him wrong. “Sure,” you’ll say, “prove it.”
And he’ll pull out his violin in the midst of all that grass. You’ll watch his claws wrap around the strings. So sharp and destructive, he could crush the instrument in hiccup or sneeze. You’ll think of a father holding a baby. A fleshy small animal. You’ll think of yourself as the violin. His paws softly clenching your body as if holding air.
And the sound that comes out is nothing like you’ve ever heard before.

Hannah Pass’ work has appeared in Poor Claudia and Storyglossia, among others. She lives and writes in Portland, Oregon, where she will begin her first year in the MFA Writing program at Pacific University. She is cur-rently at work on a collection of linked fictions. You can find her online at