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  Table of contents Issue Twenty-three POLISHED PRECIPICE



icky likes being on the bottom. He enjoys rolling his hips up at just the right angle to force that held breath between clenched teeth. It’s almost perfect. It’s even better when he can get them to choke him. When he can feel their fingers stutter to stay strong against his dull pulse. He likes them best when they still squeeze him tight. Even with his palm against their windpipe. Even when the blood from their nose is making them that much more slippery. The fight leaves them quickly. Micky likes this part the most; when it’s the clicking rasping sounds of their last breath against his cheek, when there are scratches on his neck and back. When their whole body goes so still, so tight. He’s as close to rapture as he will ever be. He takes a picture for Sunny, it’s with his tongue touching his nose. The camera flash is on, the body lying behind him is face up, over exposed, skin blue.

When Ford comes to it’s with something lying on top of him, cold and stiff. He swallows his scream and the need to vomit. He nearly chokes again when he tries to stand, and he can see that the body is the cutie from BioChem 203. They went out for drinks; he can remember her smile and the way her hair swooped over her shoulder. He remembers the way she felt, and the feel of her throat in his hands. He falls heavy to the floor.

Sunny is so damn tired. He wakes up lying in a puddle of piss and vomit; he rolls his eyes mumbling, “Fuck this.” He stands over the really pretty girl from BioChem 203, a class they are failing, he needs a cigarette. Sunny sits on the toilet and tries to think of what to do. The pinging sound of the phone rings in his ear as a headache starts at his temple. He reaches into the sink with his free hand. It’s an email about a school cancellation and a notification from Micky. It’s a picture message, and Sunny can already tell what it’s going to be. He leaves it unopened and instead writes on the memo pad “Stop shitting where we eat.”

Sunny makes a call. When Micky comes to, he’s in the middle of doing the heavy lifting, carrying a duffle bag filled with his last treat and a waiting Angie. He’s a great guy, always tips well. Ford wakes up in his apartment; he’s sick on himself he feels like it’s happened before. He makes it to the toilet before it becomes a possible third time. His head is fuzzy, and things don’t click. But he’s home, and he’s got a reminder on his phone, ‘No Class. Storm Coming Get Food.’ He doesn’t actually leave his apartment he doesn't think, but there’s money in his wallet, and he feels okay.

When Ford dreams it’s of a guy named Sanderson laying on his back, dark skin catching the moonlight. Ford thinks his favorite thing is his belly button, half in and out. Sanderson is clenching around him begging, and Ford gives. Then Sanderson is too tight around Ford. His legs drawing him too close thighs crushing his hips, then release. Sanderson’s brown eyes are gone. Ford startles awake he sometimes has dreams like that. Beautiful people underneath him and the feeling of their breath guttering out in half screams against his neck. He wakes up with a mess in his hand getting cold fast. He always feels like he’s missing something. When he looks in the mirror, he sees the red marks scabbing and tries to think of anything other than how nice the bruises look along his throat and chin.




Ken Wallace is a fledgling writer that spends more time knitting than writing. Currently avoiding study to figure out if there’s something to love more than writing. Lives on the East Coast. Occasionally thinks of traveling. Graduated from High School in 2014 and waited a year to go to college expecting and hoping that with the little work experience they acquired, could somehow avoid the broke college kid experience only to find they are a broken adult.

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