Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

trevor fuller


"the right object"


            While waiting in line for Indiana Jones at Disneyland, Mandy began to float into the air. She began to float into the air without the aid of any wires or mechanical effects, her body gradually rising above the horizon of heads forming the sunlit population of Indiana Jones' line. Indeed, the sight took a moment to register on those standing in line around her, but once it did, they watched Mandy's ascent with the stunned countenance of expectant moviegoers—except for the children. The sight of Mandy rising into the air sent the children into uncurbed hysterics. One began jumping in circles screaming, "I knew it! I knew it! We fly! We fly!" Some of the smaller ones climbed onto their parents' backs to gain a better vantage. A young girl on her dad's shoulders yelled out, "I want to go with her, Dad!"

            It was only ten o'clock in the morning, an hour after the park's opening.

            Mandy had dressed herself that day in a pink blouse, jeans, and a pair of white kicks. She was exceptionally obese, so her figure captured the eye. Her boyfriend, Kevin, who was standing right next to her, was wearing a red-yellow Iron Man t-shirt, some old faded jeans, and a pair of gray Reeboks, the only pair of shoes he owned. He watched her float into the air with the same big-pupiled astonishment as those standing around him. Mandy and Kevin had been together for four years; this was their seventh trip to Disneyland as a couple. Like Mandy, Kevin was noticeably heavyset. He also carried inside him a deep fear of heights, which was preventing him at that moment from taking the necessary steps to rescue Mandy from her increasingly uncertain circumstances. Eventually, however, his fear of heights succumbed to his deepening concern for Mandy's well-being, and he turned around to plead with the patrons behind him for some rope so that he could tether Mandy to the nearest rail. They pointed out to him that Indiana Jones's line's convolved framework was entirely of rope: He was literally standing in between two thick, spiny cords of it. Tying one onto Mandy's leg proved fruitless, however: the force compelling her upwards merely tore the rope's anchor, a waist-high steel pole, from the ground. And after the pole was easily uprooted, Kevin had less than seven seconds or so before Mandy rose to a height he could no longer reach her from, meaning he couldn't afford to indulge his cowardice any longer.

            So he leapt up and grabbed onto Mandy's ankles, and while he did so, he said aloud, "Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck."

            Kevin's efforts did little to halt Mandy's progress. She continued to rise but now with Kevin hanging onto her feet. Mandy's ascent was occurring at a pace of roughly an inch per second. She was rising very, very slowly. Her slow pace gave everyone watching sufficient opportunity to consider the degree of their responsibility toward the imperiled couple. Were they, any of them at all, obligated to act? And if so, whom did circumstances hold most responsible for initiating an attempt at rescue? And how many of them did the situation require to successfully pluck Mandy and Kevin from out of the sky? Etc. The range and form of questions striking each one of them at that moment was vast and complex.

            Several beats passed in uncertain arrest. The idea that no one would do anything began to solidify in people's heads, prompting serious self-evaluation amongst many in the crowd, most of whom considered themselves good people willing to help a fellow human being in need. As such, a low-level panic set in: No one wanted to discover they might not be the people they thought they were. Some looked around themselves as if lost; others clung to nearby friends or family with breathless urgency. Either way, everyone seemed poised before a devastating discovery. Luckily, they were all saved from their terrified inaction by a tall, stoopily postured young man with small, almost linear eyes standing eight spots behind Mandy and Kevin. After taking a brief moment to gather his courage, this young man yelled at everybody in front of him to "Get out of my way!" And, as if by the power of God, the people in line ahead of him dutifully parted, after which the young man, a complete stranger to both Mandy and Kevin, went charging past the parted line and, once he came within several feet of where Mandy and Kevin were slowly floating upwards, leapt up into the air and grabbed ahold of Kevin's waist with pincerlike force.

            It's difficult to articulate the multiplicity of feelings and sentiments assailing the assembly of onlookers waiting in Indiana Jones' line as they watched this happen. Fear tinged with hope tinged with shock tinged with joy tinged with envy, perhaps. The exact composition of each person's inner life at that moment varied according to each's peculiar shape of individuality and character, which of course was a product of an entire history of little inarticulable experiences and trials and successes and failures. This goes without saying. It's hard to know exactly why anyone did it, especially after having just been recently gripped by such severe, terrified paralysis, but after witnessing the linear-eyed young man's selfless act, his best friend immediately followed suit—as in the linear-eyed young man's best friend also went charging past the parted line, leapt up, and grabbed ahold of the rising trio. The best friend in turn was followed by his girlfriend; followed by a frustrated wife and mother who had been recently regretting her life's lack of spontaneity; followed by her loyal, crewcut, self-contained husband and their only child, a five-year-old boy; and so on and so forth until by the time Mandy and Kevin had risen twenty feet into the air, they had a veritable human ladder dangling below them, of which they of course composed the two uppermost rungs.

enough were drawn in to keep the ladder growing indefinitely.

            Certainly not every person in line for Indiana Jones nor every passing Disneylander who chanced to observe the ladder growing longer and longer chose to attach themselves to it, but enough were drawn in to keep the ladder growing indefinitely.Some people, like the loyal husband and his five-year-old son, were compelled by the caprice of loved ones. One young lady saw the ladder from her spot in line for Thunder Mountain and thought it might be some kind of social statement or demonstration, and because she considered herself a very progressive person and valued that aspect of her character very much, could not prevent herself from missing an opportunity to join a cause or display ripe with the potential for such breathtaking and life-affirming expression. A young group of teenagers thought it might be "like a really sweet opportunity to be on TV and like say we were there and that we did that." Some people, after they saw the news stories of the human ladder on TV, assumed it was the beginning of the Rapture, and rushed down to Disneyland with religious speed, bought their $100 tickets, and flung themselves onto the ladder in paroxysms of joy, exclaiming on the glory of the Lord's love. The Pope also quickly issued a statement declaring the ladder an official act of God and Indiana Jones's line a place of religious worship, which prompted a local group of Satanists to also insinuate themselves into the ladder, their design to incite its disintegration by letting go once the ladder reached a sufficiently fatal height.

            Less dramatically, one older gentleman who joined the line just really liked the feeling of holding other people's legs in his arms.

            Regardless of motivation, what was important was people came and grabbed ahold and, for most of that day, didn't let go.

            By noon, Mandy had risen nine hundred feet into the air. She was visible from the I-5 freeway as a small dot at the head of a long string of dots stretching up from the ground. She and Kevin had not spoken much since the beginning of the incident. Kevin had closed his eyes at one-hundred feet, but he had not loosened his grip on Mandy's ankles. Kevin's steadiness gave Mandy comfort, but it also surprised her, because throughout most of their relationship, Kevin had been prone to procrastination and undependability, a quality of his that had actually become a point of resentment between the two of them in the past few months. Whenever Mandy requested Kevin do the dishes after a meal, he would often delay the task till the end of the day, which, if the meal happened to occur early in the morning, meant a pile of dirty dishes would steadily accumulate in the sink and turn the kitchen into a scene resembling something from the post-apocalypse by dinnertime. Furthermore, Kevin's idling often led to accusations from Mandy of relationship cowardice: It sometimes entered into her head that Kevin stayed in the relationship not because he loved her or was attracted to her but because he was afraid to leave and afraid to be alone. Admittedly, Kevin didn't always have confidence that this wasn't the truth.

            At about forty feet into the air, the velocity of Mandy's ascent increased to a foot per second for no apparent reason. Even more inexplicably, at no point did the combined weight of those dangling below Mandy assert itself on her body. It didn't feel as if Kevin were pulling her down; instead, it felt like the two of them were still on the ground, and he were merely on his knees holding her ankles. The same applied to Kevin and the weight of those hanging onto him. Mandy's weightlessness seemed to metastasize down the ladder via touch. Once you took a constituent member of the ladder's legs in your arms, you too became like a molecule of air, or, if you were religious, an angel of God.

            No one was afraid. The ladder's weightlessness came attended by the emotional satisfaction of a day-long spa treatment, complete with mudbath and deep tissue massage. Many composing the ladder's body had the half-lidded, loose-muscled grins usually found only on the deeply relaxed.

            As the ladder continued to rise and grow, however, issues of biology and waste began to announce themselves. Several men and women urinated in their pants. A young girl actually defecated in her underwear, then announced it loudly to her mother, whose feet she was hanging onto. "I pooped myself, Mommy," she said, and so there was no mistaking the source of the nauseous smell that eventually expanded beyond her clothes and to the people around her.

            One young man, instead of attaching himself to the bottom of the ladder and hanging in place, decided to pull himself up by the clothes and heads and waists of those comprising the ladder above him. The women especially did not appreciate this, for obvious reasons. The young man made it up four human-rungs before physically exhausting himself, after which he decided to cling to the person forming the rung he had ended his ascent on, a shy mail clerk with amphibiously large bifocals who was seriously just happy to be of use.

            To pass the time, some people sent oral messages up and down the ladder. For example, one woman received this message: "The guy seven rungs below says he likes the shape of your butt." And she sent this message back: "I don't date beneath me." She thought this was both clear and clever.

            Some people in the ladder took turns purposelessly screaming into the expanding void before them. They tried to match the pitch and duration of their screams so that if the lowest person in the ladder were to scream first followed by the person above them and so on all the way up to the top it would sound like an echo ascending into the sky.

            An oddity: Every single person's heart in the ladder beat at exactly the same rhythm as Mandy's, and if she, or anyone else, were to listen closely enough, they could have heard and felt each beat of their hearts reverberating up and down the ladder like a softly plucked string.

Every single person's heart in the ladder beat at exactly the same rhythm as Mandy's.

            On a different note, as the ladder continued to grow in length and carve a dark line through the sky, a group of helicopters from various local news stations were drawn into orbit around it in an ever-rotating halo. News clips soon began appearing across the web and on television, most of them opening with a long shot of the ladder from the I-5 freeway then cutting to a distant medium action shot of Mandy at the head of the ladder with Kevin hanging onto her from her ankles. Some of the captions read: "Young Woman Floating Above Disneyland" or "Human Ladder Above Disneyland."

            Most of the news stations seemed to think the most important element of the story was its being set at Disneyland.

            Physically speaking, Mandy had a very symmetrical face; it was topographically balanced, kind of like a masterplanned community. Most notably, her face had a very conspicuous V-shaped jaw and was small relative to the rest of her body, and she concealed her face's possibly only flaw, a large forehead, with long wispy bangs that ran all the way down to her brow in a slightly parenthetical bend. Mandy took great pride in her face and fanatically monitored it for blemishes and foreign objects like dirt or ash using a small flip mirror she carried around in her purse from sunup to sundown.

            What this all boiled down to really was that Mandy was not ugly by any stretch of the imagination.

            Kevin, on the other hand, might have been, depending on the generosity of his beholder(s). He had dark brown hair he rarely bothered to mold or impose any kind of organization onto in the morning, leaving it, as it was that day, at Disneyland, in a kind of wild, tropical mess. The bridge of his nose ran at a slight curve, which created a very conspicuous lack of symmetry in his face. His nostrils were also different sizes from each other, and his left ear lay closer to his skull than his right, which stretched out from his head in a shape very similar to a small bullhorn.

            He had a peculiar face, to put it mildly.

            As the ladder continued its ascent, aggressive atmospheric winds began to batter it continually but failed to destabilize or affect the ladder in any way. The ladder continued to rise with the inevitability of a perfectly straight line. Meanwhile, the TV coverage of the ladder began to shift toward conspiracy. Some argued that the ladder was a ploy by the government to distract the nation from its recent mishandling of the economy. Others claimed it was North Korea employing a new weapon they had developed, which could apparently lift people into the sky, and began speculating on what this meant for the future of international relations. Still others contended that it was the big oil corporations hoping to raise the price of a barrel; the details of this argument were somewhat obscure. At some point, all the programs brought on a biologist to explain how those in the ladder could survive at such enormous altitudes where the air's oxygen saturation was surely fatally low, and all the biologists arrived at the same conclusion, summed up nicely by University of California, Berkley professor Tim Binsley, who appeared on KTLA-5's Evening News, and remarked, "It defies scientific explanation. All our information tells us these people should be dead, but they're not. They're in the sky. Newton's laws of physics tell us they should be on the ground, but they're not. We don't have answers, we don't have theories, we don't have hypotheses. We're in totally unfamiliar territory. Truthfully, this phenomenon has proven a great inconvenience to us." Naturally, Science's bewilderment stoked the religious fervor already excited by the ladder's appearance.

            Around afternoon, the TV stations interrupted their coverage to broadcast an impromptu press conference from the mayor of Anaheim in which he assured everyone with well-practiced hand gestures that his staff and he were doing everything in their power to return those in the ladder to safety and that they would not abandon their fellow Anaheimians to their fate. An hour later, the governor of California issued a statement of his own promising that his cabinet and he were doing everything possible to aid local rescue efforts and that they would not leave their fellow Californians behind. Lastly, the President gave a statement from the White House in which he insisted that he had several Federal organizations providing specialized assistance to state and local emergency personnel, then finished by saying that neither he nor his colleagues would forsake their fellow Americans in their time of need. None of the statements provided any details on the rescue efforts being made by Federal or state organizations, but analysts roundly agreed that each elected official had presented themselves with dignity and conviction, which would surely benefit them come the next polling cycle.  

            Afterwards, the news programs once again shifted the tenor of their coverage, this time to speculation on the personal history of Mandy herself. Who was she? Why was this happening to her? What was she feeling as she carried a small city's worth of people into the air? Her parents were brought on air and asked if they had had any contact with her recently, in the last twenty-four hours. Her mom answered that they hadn't; she then added that Mandy hadn't been answering her phone since the start of the incident. The hosts asked Mandy's parents why they thought this might be happening to Mandy, and her mother said, "We don't know. We have no idea. It might be—she's headstrong but she's also really kind. She loves dogs. But we never would have guessed something like this. She's just a graphic designer, she doesn't know anything about flying or science. She got a C in her high school physics class, it wasn't even honors. She's always been hopeless when it comes to science."

            "You told us her boyfriend is up there with her?"

            "Yes, he's the one hanging onto her feet, but he won't be able to do anything, he's even more worse at science than she is, and he's terrified of heights. He hates flying, he won't get on a plane. They met in college, they've been together since college, but they've never been through anything like this. I'm sorry you don't care about any of that, but you have to understand how young they are, they're so young, they've never even been outside the country. They've never even been to Canada or Mexico. I'd been to Canada and Mexico by the age of seventeen. Do you see what I'm talking about?"

"Whatever's keeping him hanging on must be pretty damn compelling."

            Kevin's parents couldn't be reached for comment, though one news program did manage to make contact with Kevin's roommate from his freshman year of college, who supplied the program with the following statement: "If Kevin's floating up in the air, and there's a smell like someone shit their pants, you don't have to look very far. Dude couldn'teven take an elevator up six floors without having a mini panic attack when I knew him. He had to plan his entire schedule around the room numbers of classes. Any class in a room greater than 399, he couldn't take it. I'll be honest, I'm surprised he didn't let go as soon as he rose ten feet into the air. Whatever's keeping him hanging on must be pretty damn compelling."

            There were several things Mandy found irksome about how Kevin carried himself. The first was his posture: It was too good. She believed other people surely thought when they saw him that he stood like he had a stick up his ass. It didn't anger her but she would sometimes notice it in socially fraught situations, like at parties or when he first met her parents. Mandy would then grow embarrassed, or supremely anxious about what conclusions others were drawing about him (and her) from it, which would later turn into a faint itch of annoyance she experienced at the back of her throat. She had noticed his posture and felt the attendant backthroat itch during their walk from the entrance of Disneyland to the line for Indiana Jones, which she had interpreted as an ill omen for their trip that day.

            The second was his tendency to let his mouth hang open, as if always in the midst of receiving baffling news. To get him to close it, she often told him his breath stunk, which most of the time happened to be true. He had overproductive mucus glands, which tainted his breath and also made it difficult for him to breathe through his nose at times. But even so, she thought he could work on keeping his mouth closed more.

            For his part, Kevin liked most things about Mandy except that since the start of their relationship four years ago, every three or four months she would dramatically break up with him.

            He supposed the first time was somewhat reasonable. In the first year of their relationship, Mandy introduced Kevin to her older sister, Casey, and in the days after meeting her, Kevin proceeded to pester Mandy with questions about Casey's likes and dislikes, the people she had dated, what she was like in college, high school, junior high, etc., which made Mandy suspicious: She began to believe that Kevin liked Casey more than he liked her. Admittedly, Kevin found Mandy's sister attractive, still did, maybe even more so than Mandy herself, an issue he had spent many absent-minded hours somewhat guiltily wrestling with himself over without coming to any kind of conclusion except that he found them both charming in some way, but Mandy had interpreted his curiosity for her sister as full-blooded affection and accused him of using her, Mandy, as a vehicle through which to seduce and win Casey for himself. During the fight that precipitated their first break up, Kevin pointed out to Mandy how absurd her reasoning was, how he had never even known her sister until he had met her, Mandy, which totally undermined the entire foundation of her argument. Mandy remained inconsolable. "Why have you been asking me about her so much then?" she shouted at him. They were in Kevin's car; Kevin was driving Mandy back to her dorm from a movie. Refracted streetlights crawled across the window behind Mandy in the passenger's seat as she added, "If you don't like me, just say so. There's no point in being with someone you don't like."

            "Jesus, are we back in high school?" Kevin said. "Of course I like you!" He turned briefly to look at her to emphasize the earnestness of his declaration, then back to the road.

            "I think we should stop seeing each other," she said, staring straight ahead now, arms layered across her chest.

            "Wow," Kevin said.

            Mandy had nothing further to add. After Kevin dropped her off, she didn't respond to any of his texts or phone calls for an entire week. Then one night she texted him this message: "You're an asshole."

            Kevin read the message several times and didn't find himself growing angry. In many ways, he agreed. He certainly believed she believed she had very good reason to think him one. "I know," he typed back. "I'm sorry."

            The next day, she sent him another message: "Where are you?" it said.

            "At Starbucks," he replied, which was the truth. He was sitting in Starbucks by himself having a vanilla bean Frappuccino while he took advantage of the free WiFi and surfed the Internet on his laptop.

            His phone came alight with the message "I'm on my way."

            And they started seeing each other again, just like that. She broke up with him four months later over a comment he made in anger regarding a shirt she liked to wear embossed with the words "t-shirtophobia: fear of stupid t-shirt sayings," which he said was guilty of the same kind of stupidity it ridiculed other t-shirts for. Apparently, she interpreted this as an insult to her intelligence. It took him a while to see that with the application of the transitive property he had indeed done just that, though he still found her reaction, tearfully breaking up with him in front of a Target, uncalled for. The rest of their partings followed in much the same fashion, with her assuming dim views of harmless comments and actions of his, then using those views to justify hastily breaking up with him in overly public places.

            These concerns were chief in Mandy and Kevin's minds when at twenty-eight thousand feet above sea level people began to let go.

            It was the Satanists first. The Satanist at the bottommost rung let go, as according to their plan, then the next, then the next, and so on. They hoped to spread the killing out amongst all their members in this way. They reasoned that each would be able to take credit for killing one to five innocents in the afterlife if there were no complications. This had actually been a point of contention among some of the more elderly Satanists, because they didn't believe some of the younger members had worshipped the Fallen One long enough to have earned the privilege of taking one innocent's life, let alone possibly five. Eventually, however, it was pointed out by the wisest of the Satanists that, much like God, Satan loved all his children equally, and so it did not matter in the end if a particular follower had taken zero innocents' lives or five hundred, for he would still be permitted to enter Hell and enjoy the blessings that awaited them all there.

            But when they let go, the Satanists and their potential victims did not fall in the normal way, at the normal velocity. As they had floated up, so they floated down, like a feather or a leaf. And when those unaffected by the Satanists ultimately harmless actions saw the comfort with which those who had let go were returned to the ground, they too began to abandon the ladder, seeing as how their attempt to rescue those at the top had achieved almost nothing.

            From a distance, it was like watching a dark strand of DNA disintegrate from the bottom-up, its constituent elements subsiding toward the ground like confetti or ash.

            Kevin and Mandy often said they loved each other. They spoke the words with evident conviction. But every now and then they asked themselves what exactly the words meant. They both assumed successful relationships were built on finding a partner that made feeling the feeling of love easy. Mandy envisioned it like she was a puzzle piece and the person she was supposed to spend the rest of her life with was another puzzle piece that accepted or filled in the peaks and valleys in the predetermined puzzle-shape of her soul.

Kevin and Mandy often said they loved each other. They spoke the words with evident conviction.

            Kevin didn't have such ideas. He just wanted someone who he was attracted to and got along with and who made him feel good about himself. His other hope was that he made her, his partner, feel good about herself too. In the end, this was Mandy's goal as well. And though neither of them probably ever would have admitted it, the part about making their partner feel as good as they felt held less importance to them than their own feelings of goodness.

            They knew most other people thought the same way, which they believed meant surely this was how things were supposed to work. But in the days and months before their trip to Disneyland, both Mandy and Kevin had experienced doubts regarding the health of their relationship and their capacity to go an entire lifetime by each other's side, which they both considered an important element, finding someone to spend an entire lifetime with, to living a complete and fulfilling life.

            Apart from the little annoyances each had discovered in the other's character and conduct, they had both ceased to feel the way they had in the formative months of their relationship, when they had spoken to each other embarrassingly as like babies or danced left-footedly together in the living room of their apartment to mesmerizingly empty-headed pop music from the likes of Taylor Swift or Maroon Five.

            When Mandy had wanted sex nearly every night.

            When Kevin had been willing to give her a massage almost every day, unprompted.

            When Mandy had laughed with him instead of at him.

            When Kevin had asked her about herself and what she thought instead of assuming he already knew.

            When neither of them had consulted online lists advising them on "How to Know If You're with the Right Person" or "12 Signs She [or He] is Legitimately Still Into You."

            When they had looked at each other and felt.

            So these doubts could account partly for why when Kevin felt the strange young man with the linear eyes hanging onto him let go, he experienced a moment of relief. To say he had been scared would be an understatement. Mandy had surely lost most of the circulation in her feet with how tightly he was gripping her ankles. And without the obligation of keeping Mandy connected to the rest of the ladder, Kevin's responsibilities as a boyfriend seemed, to him, to lose their urgency.

            In other words, part of him wanted to let go. But imagining Mandy alone up here, with the wind, which at that moment was raking her hair back in a near horizontal line, filled him with an even greater terror than their current height or the idea of wherever they were headed, though who that terror was for, him or Mandy, he didn't know.

            Mandy did not have the luxury of letting go. Her path appeared predetermined at the moment. She was of course scared like Kevin. Watching the ladder slowly dissolve and every well-meaning person who had tried to help her, for whatever reason, let go had produced the opposite effect in her than it had in Kevin: She had felt her reliance on his companionship increase exponentially. She didn't want him to let go, because she didn't want to face her impossible circumstances alone, but she knew it was selfish of her to ask him to stay. He could follow the others back to Disneyland, back to Indiana Jones. She was sure that's where they had all ended up, right back where they had started. Nothing would change for him; she just wouldn't be there anymore.

            Mandy and Kevin's relationship had not been all bad. If anything should go without saying, that should. They had felt love for each other. At times, they still did. Just the other week, on a Monday, Mandy had inexplicably come up to Kevin and put her arms around him. As capable as she was of dividing them, she was equally capable of their heartfelt restoration. The intensity of her impulses acted as a striking element of her beauty. And part of Mandy's changeability issued from her unshakeable trust in Kevin's character. She was able to let herself go because she knew Kevin would not judge her. How else to explain his being called an asshole and apologizing? It was through such acts that he revealed himself as the very opposite of an asshole. He was a gentle human being and submitted himself to every damaged part of her.

            None of that occurred to Mandy or Kevin up in the air. What did was a slow-building awareness of their irreversible isolation. The helicopters were still circling but they constituted Mandy and Kevin's sole company as the two of them continued to proceed through cloud-brushed, low-level atmosphere. After a moment of listening to the windbeat of the helicopters, an urge to be eye-level with Mandy and to look at her suddenly overcame Kevin. He didn't permit himself a moment for self-doubt. Eyes still closed, he reached up for Mandy's calf, pulled himself even with her kneecap, her thigh, then grabbed blindly for her hand. And Mandy, taken by surprise at first but not immune or resistant to the design of Kevin's actions, moved her hand into his and helped bring him level with her. The second detail of Kevin's plan followed: His eyes came open slowly, as if from a deep sleep, and he looked at her, then down at the skyscape below, and he said, "Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck," and shut his eyes again.

            Moved by the renewed commitment to her struggle Kevin's actions seemed to imply, Mandy said, "Kevin, you can let go if you want to. It's okay."

            Kevin had to let his nerves resettle themselves. "You'd be alone," he said finally, though this was something she surely already knew.

            "It's okay," she said.

            "I'd be alone," he said, somewhat surprisingly, even to himself.

            Mandy hadn't considered that. To be fair, neither had Kevin.


Trevor Fuller is currently a PhD candidate in fiction at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House (Online), Kentucky Review, Wigleaf: (very) short fiction, and Vinyl, among others.