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Mythical Creatures by Masha Kisel

We were mythical creatures under the strobe light. You were a fluorescent seraph. I imagined myself obscenely adorable- a cotton-tailed nymph with velveteen skin.

A week later we meet again- sober on the subway platform, and I shudder, you don’t look at all how I remember. Your face is a mirror of my own imperfections. I avoid turning in profile.

Last weekend we shouted “I ADORE YOU!!!!” over the EDM, in between kisses; we spoke in tongues.

Tonight the sheen of our magical connection has peeled like old wallpaper. It's all dry rot underneath. There’s little left to say as we walk from the train station to the bar. Condemned to each other’s company, we’re faded sepia photographs of our luminous past selves.

You tell me you’re an actor. The show must go on, I sigh. But after a few drinks the love fairies sprinkle glitter into my eyes. The gin and tonics do their dance. The fluorescent seraph flashes in and out of existence. I trap your leg between my knees under the table. Um, you say. I don’t know what you mean, but I can’t let the apparition escape.

I hope you do theater, not commercials. I hope that you look past surfaces and find me profound. I won’t stop talking. I’m chanting an incantation to bring us back to our legendary past. I blink and blink to simulate the strobe light. You don’t respond, but I read a mystical connection into your silence.

Rushing ahead, I am the train and the tunnel and the brilliant light at the end.

Hours from now I’ll be drunk and alone, devouring to the bones, my dead fantasy of mythical you.


Masha Kisel holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures. She teaches courses in Russian language, English composition, film and sustainability at the University of Dayton. Her writing has appeared in Columbia Journal, Gulf Coast and Vestal Review. Twitter: @MashaKisel1

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