Catching a chicken was hard and pulled Dan out of his adrenaline rush that had been building all day. “I smell like shit now” he said but regretted complaining and was afraid it offended Kim. They got to the stump in the field and lit candles in a circle. Them and a chicken and the mosquitoes lighting candles in a field. “Are you ready?” Kim whispered.

“Yeah I think so, I can't imagine anything else happening that would make me more ready.” Kim held the chicken down and Dan brought up the axe over his shoulder like a golf club and brought it down on the chickens neck. “I think I’m going to throw up.”

“Me too.” “Why are you going to throw up didn’t you grow up here?Didn’t you see anything like this before?”  “No I never saw it before.


By Noah Burke

Kim picked Dan from the train station and told him about how her dad refuses to get up to pay for the check at restaurants where you take the bill to a cash register and how he waits until they come over and how it made her feel “fucking insane.” Dan asked why they call it a check and not a receipt and asked her again if she was mad at him for missing the last bus the night before and having to come in the morning. They got to the farm and stood in the tall grass and listened to the sounds of the nighttime. They held hands and Kim felt like what the lady selling gems on the street told her quartz would make her feel. She started talking about more things that she described as “fucking insane.”

Aiming down the barrel Kim’s father’s gun, Dan held his breath and fired. “You missed” she said. “I know” Dan responded, trying to sound snarky but sounding pathetic and maybe bored. It was so sexy how much she loved guns, he thought while they walked back to her father’s big house on his big farm. He slung the gun over his shoulder like he had always wanted to do and pretended he was someone else but forgot to think about who Kim would be in his fantasy. Maybe John Wayne he thought. Inside they could see that Kim’s dad’s face was red and the TV was broken and Dan felt afraid to ask what happened. “What happened?” “I saw your mother on TV and I just had a freak out or something.” Kim’s father said in a voice that was deep but also wavering “I’ve never had a freak out before I don’t think.” “My mom's the weather lady up here” she whispered in Dan’s ear.

photos by nick pedro