Jared Ward

The zipper got stuck when he ran. There was a distant slap when his shoulder hit the floor. He took his time. Zipped up and buttoned. He thought of armadillos.
Raccoons stand, hands in the air like a Thai fighter. Jesus Lizards scamper their happy asses on the water's surface. Armadillos jump. Defense mechanisms. Ingrained behavior, no thought. Along comes the internal combustion engine.
Her blue shirt disappeared around the corner, the one her mom helped him pick out last Christmas. Things had just smoothed over, her telling him it couldn't happen again. He knew. Happy to be off his brother's couch.
That's who told him about the monkeys, chimps in captivity they made play games. Simon Says, the electronic one with light-up buttons. Chimps on one side, smart college kids on the other. And the monkeys beat the bejesus out of those future world leaders, every single time. Chimps, genome map differing from the human double helix by a miniscule amount, eat bananas and live in trees. Incredible short term, not so hot on the long term.
Like there were no walls, he heard the engine growl away. Shiny maple, the hardwood cooled his forehead, crushed his nose, fogged and retreated under his lips. There was a vague notion of bare feet moving past. He palmed his flat branch, praying for the sound of an approaching SUV.