“Bone Jones” by Elvis Bego

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Krug would later remember a dream he used to have—but that will come later, when later comes. It was up in the hills, winter evening, thickening mist fed by the breath of a dying demon.

“A dying demon? I don’t like it,” said young Tvrtko to Krug as they clambered up a hump of hill.

“Are we cops or are we not cops?” said Krug.

“We are cops,” said Tvrtko.

“Nothing to be afraid of.”

“Okay, boss.”

Their flashlights threw fat, white shafts against the night. They were going to find Bone Jones. He was said to be hiding in the mountains.

“Who is this Bone Jones?” asked Tvrtko.

“The less you know the better,” said Krug.

“Is that why your hair went gray?”

“Shhh!” Krug hissed just as they reached the top. “Look.”

He pointed his light down the other slope where, about ten paces away, a huge caribou was eating another of its kind straight out of the ass.

“Cannibals,” said Tvrtko.

“Try giving walnuts to a toothless man, I say,” said Krug. “Look at the size of the horns.”

They stared a while. Then Krug said, “We’ve got to go, come on. We’ll come back.”

That night they did not find Bone Jones. When they came back to the spot where the caribou was eating the other caribou, they found two sets of antlers and not a pound of flesh of either animal.

“Who ate the other one?” said Tvrtko.

“Bone Jones,” said Krug. “Bone Jones.”

They took the antlers. Krug now told Tvrtko about a dream he used to have for years, before Bone Jones stole his wife. “My snake had this big tree growing out of it.”

“Your snake?”

“My snake. Big tree.”

“Man.”

“Oh yeah.”

Back at the asylum, somebody said, “Where did you go? We were worried sick. Where did you get those?”

“Look what Bone Jones did,” said Tvrtko.

Before they shed their stolen uniforms, they asked one of the nurses to take a picture that not only made Krug’s dream nearly visible, but made it true twice.

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Elvis Bego

Elvis Bego was born in Bosnia, fled the war there at age twelve, and now lives in Copenhagen. His writing can be found in Agni, The Common, Massachusetts Review, Ninth Letter, PANK, Threepenny Review, Tin House online, and elsewhere.

www.elvisbego.info

twitter.com/elvis_bego

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