Helen stops kissing me when she feels the loose change-sized scars scattered across my stomach and side. I murmur something about a hunting accident to get her hands and mouth moving again.
“Take your pick,” my father had said. The antlers I picked the last time chafed my scalp. My father licked at the dried blood on the tips of his antlers before he strapped them on. We got into a three-point stance. “You aren’t a man until you can wound me.”
J. BRADLEY is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer, the prose poem chapbook It Is A Wild Swing Of A Knife (Choose the Sword Press, 2015), and the forthcoming flash fiction chapbook No More Stories About The Moon (Lucky Bastard Press, 2015). His flash fiction chapbook, Neil, won Five Quarterly‘s 2015 e-chapbook contest for fiction. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words.. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at iheartfailure.net.
Author photo by Laura J. Cole