Last Things By John Gabriel Adkins
July 20, 2015 Comments Off on Last Things By John Gabriel Adkins
The trees were punchy from the soot. Since she’d appeared, all the boys had been churning to glimpse the girl in the orange-colored dress, but she was hard to see, only spotted ambiguously, corner-of-the-eye in the windows of her home. The boys climbed ladders and peeked through keyholes, desperating at late hours, ignoring chores. Untended animals ran away to live in the forest, and the old lady no one needed said, “This world is guttering out.”
The boys didn’t dare attempt to go inside: no one knew what happened to those who went inside after brave Bobby disappeared. One by one, untended plants started running away to live in the forest, and the boys dogpiled into writhing hills around the girl’s home for a glimpse. Sometimes the old lady no one needed would have a few drinks too many. Sometimes the smokestacks would belch a black payload into everyone’s lungs. Sometimes, the boys crashed against the home in waves. Sometimes tsunamis.
The boys never got what they wanted, no glimpse of the girl in the orange-colored dress. The most dedicated grew bored and disillusioned. They drained away back to their beds, and the old lady no one needed begged the boys to join her escape into the forest. Even the rocks were coming along, but the boys didn’t hear. The boys disappeared that night, and the last rock to leave would later recount a strange sound in the sooty desolate blackness of that last night: the swishing sound of orange-colored pleats.
© 2015 John Gabriel Adkins
John Gabriel Adkins is a writer of fiction and essays. His work has appeared in The Escapist and Gone Lawn, and he is a member of the artist collective Still Eating Oranges.