Addicted to Short Shorts

Here is the start of something…who knows (it’s fiction…Oh, and “amp” is slang for meth):


This time? We night hiked along Pinch Ridge to the apex and stared up at the cell phone tower, its jagged arm reaching toward the sky like some disillusioned super-sonic hemlock. The starscape shifted this time of year; goodbye Orion, bonjour Big Dipper. Or as Wade said to me when we finally reached the clearing: “Holy. Fucking. Shit.”

I suppose he’d never taken the time for the trek, though his mom’s trailer was just two creeks over from the south side of the ridge. Wade worked after school in the bag line at Sav-More grocery where it was my job to unlock the tobacco case anytime somebody wanted a pack of Camels. Last month, Wade’s kid brother overdosed on crystal and he missed a week of pay. I missed him too, so here we are. The paper said the kid seized and shook for hours in the ER, rattling the hospital bed so tremendously that folks one floor below in post-op hallucinated an earthquake. I didn’t ask if there was a wake.

“Don’t you want to climb it?” I said, shoving Wade a little into the guard fence. He shoved me back and that’s when I curled my fingertips around his belt buckle, pulled him in for a kiss.

Wade pushed me off of him. “Why’d you do that?”

“Shut up,” I said, reaching for him again. He kissed me back this time, mouth sweet and salty as ketchup. I liked his sandpaper cheeks and pointy Adam’s apple, earlobes like little shrimp tails just waiting to be sucked. He mashed my breasts around and I leaned my back into the fence. He wasn’t very good.

“Why don’t we climb it?” I said.

“Have you done it before?”

“Once.” I lied. I’d thought about it though. Thought about it for years, growing up in these southern Appalachian hills with so much amp and so much beauty like two palms pressing right up against each other. Thought about leaving, too…

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