The story below is available as a pamphlet, originally published by Greying Ghost Press. The pamphlet is beautiful and comes free, along with some other really cool stuff, with the purchase of one of their chapbooks. You are going to love everything they do. (I think my story is a lot more fun to read when you can turn the pages, which are all thick, high-quality paper.) Read it below and check out Greying Ghost here: http://greyingghost.tumblr.com/pamphlets
In The Land of The Lawnmowers
We Did What Little Occurred to Us
The old woman with bones in her yard lived at the end of the lane, where she fed leftovers to animals and stray children. Everyone in our neighborhood possessed this quiet knowledge: she was the oldest and would be the first of us to die, unless a tragedy intervened. When we spoke of rising property values, future prospects, we never mentioned her name but all of us were thinking it. “Remember to say, ‘Thank you,’” we told our children, feeling guilty. “Leave nice words on her doorstep.”
In secret, we knew we were instructing babies to pet a dying dog.
The Scent of Time Passing
As time clicked on, each of us gathered dust, oil, salt, grime on our skins that was evidence we were still alive and had been for long enough to make a mess of ourselves. The passing of time was personal, so we each carried our own scent. My scent smelled like a birthday cake. A birthday cake with a sad secret written in pink icing.
Nobody Ever Asked to Be Alive
Our lives were not something we had requested. Each life was a surprise present. The way we lived our lives was the reaction on our faces when we opened them in front of everybody.
I Don’t Know Anything You Don’t Know
I have just decided to write it down.
We Peeled Life Away From The Death Inside And Ate it
Our lives were like onions, layer folded over layer of white, porous meat that induced tears. We peeled them to find the hollow area inside. We named the hollow area Death.
The street signs in our neighborhood were illegible, but it did not matter because nobody tried to read them anyway. We all knew where we were. We felt like we had been there forever.
The Uncertainty That Passes Between Celebrations
Every holiday was an orgy in a graveyard. We prayed to each other by the light of melting candles. They dripped and covered the tombstones like wrinkled cocoons. On the other days of the year, the inside of each mouth remained a mystery to every other mouth. The rest of our bodies were always a mystery, even to ourselves.