issue five

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(510 words)
No girl had eyes like hers, uninterrupted by skin, drunk with the weight of fearless tuna and men in rowboats casting lines to catch only her. Debutantes grew lithe with envy, swimming to stab them out, but always drowned. More lonely men, working their pockets on the beach, were soothed temporarily when the debutantes washed ashore:  white gifts from the eyes. Necrophiliacs circled the lake.

A troop of debutantes with dumbbells in their shorts jogged past. They said garbled hellos through the knives between their teeth. "I hate those sluts and they will never touch you…" my uncle told the waves.

My uncle followed me home and put his stethoscope on everything. He went up the driveway with it. He listened to my mailbox. He put it against the door and knocked, hurting himself. I opened the screen and he sunk into me with cold metal. My heart tried to force its way out through the crotch of my jeans. I laughed flirtatiously. The dog ran and hid on the roof of the garage. My cat squeezed its backend into a light socket. The neighbors were jealous and undeserving. The police woke a judge, but were granted no search warrant. They waved, tears in their eyes, spread eagle on the lawn. We did not pity them, besides; we were too far away to hear their hearts beating.

Stores closed when they saw us coming. I did not understand. We were ominous fifteen percent of the time. Otherwise, we were sleeping in clothes way too tight to strip off. If anyone wanted to know our secrets, all they had to do was go stick their head in the lake.

"I can hear you thinking your thoughts," my uncle said, "and stop negatively summarizing the townspeople. Their ignorance is a sexual precaution." He removed his stethoscope from my forehead and drove. "I know a place…"

In Slinky's Petunia Glasshouse, Slinky offered us a child that was on fire. "None today," said my uncle. "But this was Nathan," replied Slinky, "now his stench is tolerable." "We want ping-pong balls. Her eyes are lonely, floating in sand twenty-four seven. Also, this is not a trick." Slinky put his flamethrower down and charged us twenty dollars a ball. The sign did say his balls were special.

Drawing pupils on the balls and dropping them in the lake, we discussed Slinky's unibrow. "How bushy and hideous, how Russian-looking, his eyebrow, my God, more atrocious than drawing on ping-pongs or falling in love!"

"Well, this town is full of perverts," I said, pointing first at our reflections in the water.


M  C  R

This work is copyrighted by the author, Sean Kilpatrick. All rights reserved.

A girl carried the lake with her eyes. We went to tell her our secrets. My uncle said it was better than sex. We had been playing doctor. He would never grab my crotch unless I did all my chores.

My uncle placed his stethoscope against the water. Down below cupped blue palms of the current waving, her pupils dilated towards what little sun could reach them. It was reflecting off the metal of my uncle's stethoscope.
She Carried the Lake
"I got to third base with the lake on our first date." (Bob Hicok)

Sean Kilpatrick
Photo by Brett Walker