Two Fictions
Peter Conners

Entrance: Where We Leave From

She was tricked by her son who promised her a lollipop at the end of that death tunnel.

The little girl lifted her tramp dress for the man who put his finger inside and wiggled.

Here is the spot where the son leaves his mother, poor womb, demented and alone.

Once upon a time her husband, his father, made love to the waitress there.

The parade goes swimmingly. And then there is pudding.


Having the picnic would feel like dying twice. Once when your heart stopped. Once when the party ended. So Lisa did not want the picnic in the first place.


The picnic was held at Sour Ridge Pavilion: Greek salad with bow-tie pasta, deviled eggs, a keg of light beer beneath the eaves of a rented pavilion. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and Italian sausage lined the park's grill meat-to-meat soaking up noxious licks of briquette flame. Her husband worked the grill while teenagers tossed a Frisbee.


It was the summer the cicadas crawled out after 17 years underground. They screeched, mated and died. Insect bodies lay in black mats across the East Coast. Tymbals, translucent wings, coarse sensitive hairs knotted together. They were shoveled, crunched. They smelled of landfill and rotted earth.


There is an old black man with a cane and trucker hat seated in the window of an art gallery. I pass him every morning on my way to work. He looks like an art installation. And then everything looks like art installations. Even sunlight and random sounds on the street feel piped in and phony; arranged for a positive review.


As the procession of cars followed her hearse between the iron gates and down the narrow path to the open grave I waited for someone to appear with a tray of hors doeuvres and Chardonnay. I kept waiting for the artist to show his face.