“The Last Sleepover,” in Gargoyle #56

The new issue of Gargoyle is out, and it contains my short story “The Last Sleepover.”

Along with about a billion other stories and poems! Seriously, the thing is massive, and the overall quality level is very high. If you’re gonna buy a random issue of a random literary journal, there’s a good bang for your buck if you go ahead and get this one.

Here’s the opener (and by the way – in copy-and-pasting this in, I noticed a typo in the very first paragraph. dammit!):

“By the time I got to Hettie’s house, most of the blood in the seat of my briefs had dried. My watch said midnight. I crouched on her porch, hands in pockets, ear against the door. A pane of ribbed glass ra alongside it, so you could see inside but only make out light and shapes.

“Temperatures will continue to fall as the storm moves east,” said Hettie’s television. “Record snowfall tonight, so plan on staying home tomorrow. And don’t venture out unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

Snow covered me. I rang the doorbell and the weather man went dead. Soon Hettie came towards the door, ghostlike, a bright glob.

“Hello?” Fear smeared her voice.

“Hettie, it’s me,” I said. “Shane. Timmy’s friend?”

No one makes dolls that look like old ladies. Babies and toddlers and buxom Barbie businesswomen, but never the aged. Yet the woman who opened the door was a doll—a tenth the size of the Hettie I remembered. Could Alzheimer’s erase body mass along with brain function? Cold wind hit her face, and she flinched.

Posted on: July 14, 2010, by : Sam J. M.
File under: New Publications