by Patrick Scott Vickers

Arlene found out about Eric and Jean at the big opening last year for the San Francisco Alternative Art League And CoOperative Functions function where we all had to have our best foot forward and which we had been working on for a couple of months because our funding which meant our lives depended on the S.F.A.A.L.C.O.F who had to approve our designs and initiatives and concepts and actuality and reason for existing and so we were all already under what Greg kept calling a Dungeon’s Load of pressure and of course because Arlene was our star she was going last, with all of us gathered according to her instructions, in the room that she shared with Eric that was way too tiny for all of us to press into but she said that it was, you know, essential, the way she always said such things and we rolled our eyes but without her we’d have been out on the street because she was High Profile like a weather balloon or a tree-sitter and there we were all pressed together and she shut off the lights turning on the ultraviolets she had borrowed from the San Francisco Police Department’s photography lab and there were these tracks, dots, glowing dots in tracks over damn near everything, tracking up the walls and over the ceilings and through the sheet and blankets of the twin bed she and Eric slept in and Arlene said that for weeks she had poured a line of finely crushed vitamins at the edges of her room for the cockroaches to walk through and now their paths were brilliant crisscrossing over and about and Arlene lifted her arm to show how on her own skin were the marks from the dust tracked into the bed and we all looked at Eric and he was lit too and while we marveled at the starlit walls we noticed Jean speckled too, though she tried to cover herself by crossing her arms over her chest but then Eric went to her and put his arms around her and their clothes and skin sparkled.

Photo: Patrick Scott Vickers
Patrick Scott Vickers is a technologist and instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University’s English Department and a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program. He graduated in 2006 with an MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama. His stories and poems have appeared in Strange Horizons, Mid-American Review, and Touchstone. Most recently, his Flash art has appeared in the online journal failbetter.

Photo by Laura Shill