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.

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