A Short Story

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Photo by Mikkel Bech on Unsplash

I did not want to, I did not, but I did it anyway, but maybe I wanted to.

When I woke up I was hungry and my head hurt and so did my stomach. Last night I cooked a frozen pizza and ate all of it, all eight slices, then threw up on the kitchen table and went to bed, maybe that’s why I felt so awful this morning.

I decided to get breakfast from IHOP, they don’t deliver around here so I had to leave the house. I put on a shirt and slacks and a tie, I wanted to look nice, it’s Sunday today, I put a pack of gum in my front pocket and my gun in the back of my pants. I picked up my watch from the nightstand, 7:14, then looked at the little orange bottle on the dresser and the Post-It note next to it that I left for myself, Two every morning, but I didn’t take any, I don’t like them anyway, they taste bad and make me feel like I’m not myself. …


Fiction Friday

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Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

He was tall, straight-haired, and lanky from the time I met him until I last saw him two years ago. To anyone who didn’t know him — and this was most people — he was soft-spoken, bashful, not too far from invisible. To me, though, he was none of these.

We met on the afterschool bus when we were ten, when I’d first started to grow my hair out. It was the beginning of a new year at Hillman Park, a puny brick elementary school in my equally tiny hometown of Silver Springs, and all the September trees were thick with their annual oranges and reds and golds. Over my two previous years at school, I’d come to learn that it was a sin to sit past your predetermined bus row; the front few were designated for first and second graders, the vast middle section for third and fourth graders, and the cramped back slots for fifth and sixth graders, at whom the bus driver would have to jeer to prevent them from jumping seats and belting out dirty song lyrics in the midst of their younger peers. …


A Short Story

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Photo by Luke Besley on Unsplash

The stars are out chittering over the water and the bridge is cold on the backs of my thighs and for the last three years He The One has been jabbering in my head telling me to jump. I haven’t listened to Him until now, I’ve been strong and I’ve resisted, but there comes a point when you just can’t take it anymore and you give in and so here I am. …


Fiction Friday

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Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

The last thing I remember before he shoots me in the face is that I still haven’t told Tammy. Then everything goes black, the alleyway and the air and the rest of the world, and for a while there’s nothing, not even darkness. At some point I regain feeling in my legs and arms and head and the world bounces back in full color, the brown tinge of the alleyway and the silvery clouds and the glittering blood all over my clothes, and then high above there’s a light, blue as a propane flame, and it streams down in a huge cylindrical beam and sucks me up like a UFO’s abduction ray except without all the anal probing. …


Fiction Friday

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Photo by Madalena Veloso on Unsplash

Readers please be advised: this fictional story includes a graphic description of suicide.

And I pointed at him and yelled, Don’t you dare tell me who I am when you don’t even know who the fuck you are, and he looked more hurt than usual, and he marched over to the counter and pulled a knife out of the cutlery block and dragged it across his throat. He stood there half-smiling for a second as if to say, Now this’ll hang over you for the rest of your life, you stinking piece of shit, but the pain and terror sank in quickly and he reached out to me, hands spasming and eyes blinking wildly, his throat red and sinewy and spraying matter all over the linoleum. …


Fiction Friday

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Photo by Sara Rampazzo on Unsplash

I figured out that I was gay when I developed a crush on Mr. Bradshaw, my ninth-grade algebra teacher. His meek, uninflected voice didn’t at all betray the glory of his appearance — vascular arms, taut torso, chiseled jawline, and exceptional ass. Much of the period, he would face the whiteboard, factoring quadratic equations and marking points on lopsided line graphs, his dry-erase marker squeaking in perfect time with the sway of his rump.

My peers and I quickly learned that Mr. Bradshaw was too careless to correct anybody for violating the seating arrangement he’d worked out at the beginning of the year; passionate juvenile delinquents like Sam Arnold, who enjoyed blow-darting soiled paper gobs at Bryce Hogan and Anika Chatterjee, were as eager to claim the second-to-front row of desks as Xavier Kassem and his crew of sniveling mathletes, and brasher classmates such as Pete Richards would park in the middle or at the back of the room, sneaking pulls of their vape pens as Mr. Bradshaw’s perfect derrière sambaed to the logic of the Pythagorean Theorem. I drifted closer and closer to the front of the room until I swiped the desk nearest the board, which originally belonged to a brown-nosing thespian named Joseph Yannis, who apologized for demanding I move after I threatened to tell Principal Dollory that this honor-roll theatre extraordinaire had been skull-fucking Miles Bukowksi in the cafeteria bathroom since the beginning of the semester. …


A short memoir about memory and mental health

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

In my old bedroom, there was a mahogany bookcase-desk that my parents pressed flush against the dark green eastern wall when we first moved in. Every morning, afternoon, and night, I’d sift through stacks of homework, write amateurish poetry, and read books on it until its surface began to bleach in oily, finger-shaped streaks and the two rows of shelves overhanging the desk began to warp with the weight of literary volumes.

Pasted to the desk’s three-foot-deep hollow was a sturdy corkboard on which my mother used to tack weekly reminders, positive affirmations, family pictures, and pieces of writing I had completed in school. …


Leaving the home you’ve always known: a personal account

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Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

Two years ago, I wrote a short piece about my childhood home as a five-minute creative exercise. I’ve always been particularly bad at spawning readable language within a time constraint, but this particular effort was fruitful enough:

“The house was big, too big for a divorced family of four. It had sickly, pale yellow siding with cracking paint and a long archway that led to a round asphalt backyard.

Most days the trees that rolled out into the little valley alongside the house were barren and spiny with winter, and you could see through them, all the way to the quiet road that cut through the half-built houses below.

If you were lucky, you would have seen a few scrawny kids shooting airsoft guns at each other, running through the fallen leaves, leaping over the muddy mounds next to the creek. They have since lost contact.

If you were to climb the little green hill that rose beside the house’s driveway, you would find an off-brown greenhouse with splotches of dirt on its windows. …

About

Andrew Jacono

Musician, mountaineer, and writer for P.S. I Love You, The Junction, and others. If you’d like to learn more about me, you can visit www.andrewjacono.com

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