Diverticulum by Sherisse
I gather water here. Inside the Hallmark store, I gather water and wait. For you to find me between aisles and where there is no mother-father. Only a small path back along shopping avenues and sweets for the mouth to take. It is all pleasure and innocent here, at night, in the blue room beside the window. Under sleep and waiting moon. Snore and spit. I wish. To be that grotesque. The record player lingers, drags me in and under. Water falls away from seams. Melts me into many. Frostbite-numb and pinpricked. Where you were number one. One and two and three, the go-between. First triangle. Serpent, feather-hungry. Body for the child to lean into, turn, tilt. Hush and swish. The bone-thin hand in winter and bottled up, a thick music. Far from any shore. Uncostumed, you.
Nausea by Lyle
In the quarter note light of fireflies, I crept on. But I felt more hunted than hunter. What else was out in the night? The will-o’-wisp pulsed at odd intervals to the fireflies and beyond the dull sheen of water lurked lurking. The surface grued with each of my steps. Instead of elutriating, it clung, scummy, to my boots. And then I understood that I had lost my focus, my prey. My ability to speak, let alone scream — though there was no reason to do either. I remembered the empty, hard lot of my town. Looking out behind the gargoyle. That night the gargoyle looked back. To vellicate your soul, you need only forget for a minute where you are.
Gargoyles of Suburbia by Alan
It was the heart of his favorite season, and the trip would not be complete without what would now be a misty jaunt through roads that were once more familiar. The route snaked this way and that past the cinema arts centre and the 24/7 mart and up through the denser wood that prospered just outside the halo of town lights. When he was younger, he imagined living on the edge of that darkness. How it covered up the details and laid its cloak over the chill aftermornings of almost doubt. One could grow wings if left, let's just say, unchallenged for a year or two or even more here. Something closer to a decade when it really counts. When what was done was still happening, he was folded like a song. And in the put away, he was spread like a poem.
In his mind, he was perched again. The audience sang along. There was a promise of aerobatics by the incoming squadron, but the tug was not enough. Just to stay there alone, in tune, would be enough. He said the word aloud, and it filled the car with freedom. To inhale. To secede. Past the old playground and his boyhood friend's home were the swings of his first few real kisses and were they ever truly free. Is anything.
Before heading west and back to the big city that was now his home, he would settle into some groove of cordiality with the others. Some were also in the coming back; others had never left. But for now, he tried to disappear into the fog and come back with something tangible, evidence that this self existed, beyond doubt, that the magic in the spout was not an architectural trick but rather a fierce insouciance bent on lifting all that was heavy around him, getting lifted.
There he is again, staring off into space. Grotesque, mouth hung limp, breathing beads of spit across his lips, watching nothing and it is hard to say what you would see if you looked inside of his head. It is hard to describe, like a fog, a portion of space filled by opaque miasmas hanging limp, inert but clinging like tiny clawed fingers come to rest against the skin. It is a mind like the basement air of an abattoir.
It rubs fingers together and feels the stony protrusions grate against each other. The wings on its back twitch. It moves its knee slightly. It settles back into rest. It does not feel the cold or the sun, just the slight shifting as heat ebbs and flows around it, a sliver of movement in its form but nothing of concern. Its heart is stone, its spirit unweathered, free from concern and replete with contempt. The thing presses its lips together, then peels them back in a smile. What does it want that it does not have?