An explosion of sound like a gunshot rang out late one night, startling me awake. Unable to tell if the noise had come from the apartment next door or the nightmares in my head, I bolted upright, struggling to catch my breath. In the dream, I’d been watching my father stomp back and forth through our red house, gripping the small gun he always carried in the inside pocket of his faded denim jacket. He still plays games in these dreams, pointing the gun at us without revealing it. We know it’s there, and he knows our fear.
A penis is an ugly thing, especially once it’s been detached from the body. It hangs so limp in your hand, small and soft, flailing around like fat, water-soaked noodle. Despite the terrible thing he’d done, he couldn’t help but note how ridiculous the penis looked rolling towards the hole in the sink, getting caught in the plastic flaps of the garbage disposal. After giving it a nudge and watching it disappear into blackness, he flipped the switch. As the blades pulverized the penis into tiny pieces, he stared at the hole, wishing it was big enough to swallow his head. He tried sticking his thing in there once when he was little, mostly as an experiment. He climbed up on the counter and pulled his shorts down, bending this way and that over the sink, but no matter how much he twisted and turned, jutting his bony hips out or spreading his legs wide, he just couldn’t find the right angle.
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My short story, “A Day in the Park,” was published in Glitterwolf Magazine‘s special Halloween edition in October 2015. Check out their website to find out more about the magazine or to order a copy. You can also purchase the issue over at Amazon.
Here is an excerpt from my story (“A Day in the Park”):
I think of my day in the park, the hunt for inspiration, and the hope that a story would find me. It found me alright, but I wasn’t careful. An involuntary twitch, a nervous tick – a sharp, startling noise in the distance and it was all over; the firefly crushed in my hand, its neon mush warm against my palm. I open my hand and find the sticky mess remains, still warm. I’ll hold it there until it cools down. It shouldn’t be much longer now – as long as it takes a dead body to go cold. The image of a child’s body lying on a path in the park flashes before my eyes. The blood pools along the backside as the flesh turns rubbery and cold.
The loss of such a tiny light is hardly noticeable in a night full of other lights, flashing on and flashing off.
I take my notes from the park and rip them into tiny pieces. The paper snow settles on the floor all around me.
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