From the Age of Shifted Nice Things #4405 by Hunter Gagnon
Mike’s mom told us we would never have gardens of our own if we didn’t seek ourselves in the world. Up a dusk hill of dead grass the color of clay, to the computer room under the stairs with its half-plywood wall. Mike had the house computer and Ian and I our laptops, we hunched on stools. We looked for clips of protester violence while giggling. Every time Mike’s mom walked past the narrow door she threw in wreaths of cool air. She took our greasy plates. Ian knew the best searches and switched to reporters attacked by wild animals. This was revelatory. We didn’t think about anything else that night except the anticipation of maulings. We lasted until 3 am and the blue screen light. Mike’s mom had stopped moving in a creaking upstairs room. Ian showed us clips of a horror movie from back in the day never released. We saw a purple alligator face on fast hairy legs in flashes with lightning sounds, it ate time, that was the monster, it did this for revenge. There were dogs barking in a field in it. It was summer. Mike was first to go and that made it fine for me and Ian too. We slept together on camping pads and quilts under the warm emptiness of the screens.
Hunter Gagnon lives in Kennebunk, Maine, where he writes poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in 7x7, Joyland, A) Glimpse) Of), Cabildo Quarterly and elsewhere. He is the editor-in-chief of Slouching Beast Journal.