Justin Lawrence Daugherty
the Invisible Man rants of clothing, of vision. Here, he asks for
forgiveness. Here, the Invisible man lies awake, here his eyelids
fluttering, an awakened REM, here he fails to dream. And, here the
dreamy streets at night.
2 Here, the Invisible Man asks why.
3 Here, her rose-colored hair, her shape-forming
dress, her hips like Siren calls, her hair a road to everywhere, and,
here, still, the Invisible Man aches, here he follows, hand outstretched
for just one strand of that hair, for a touch of skin, of heat.
4 Here, the Invisible Man followed by slathering
dogs, jaws hung wide, following, their snouts shivering with the intake
of scent. Here, the roving strays.
the Invisible Man shoos the dogs, here he kicks at their snapping
mouths, their reeking bodies, and here the woman turns, her eyes wide
with fear of these mad beasts and of slick-wet cobblestones and darkness
and the dim, untrustworthy light of street lamps, and here she turns to
run and how the dogs followed her and their barks and howling and their
bands of terrible numbers, and here the Invisible Man follows, running
after this woman, after this crimson hair, after something he wants more
than anything: the breath on skin raising hairs, the slope of her
breasts, the whisper of words spoken into his ear, the sweetness of
voice and tone, the dragging of nails, the taste of her sweat from the
small of her back and saliva on her tongue, the embrace, the tangling,
the welding of bodies, the fire.
the Invisible Man throws dogs off the fallen woman, here her hair
caught in snarling teeth, here he feels the rake of their teeth, the
drawing of blood, here he withdraws for fear of being seen, the blood
visible, here he covers his arm, his bleeding stomach, and here some of
the dogs continue their assault, their tearing of flesh, and here the
woman escapes and runs. Here, the Invisible Man wishes he could call to
the woman, here he wishes a sound could erupt other than screams, here
he wishes she could hear his voice, his sound. Here, he wishes she would
echo the noise.
Winner of the 2012 Gigantic Sequins Flash Fiction Contest, Justin Lawrence Daugherty manages Sundog Lit
from a basement in Omaha, Nebraska. His work has appeared in or is
forthcoming from The Normal School, NANO Fiction, Barrelhouse,
Monkeybicycle, NAP, Housefire, Bluestem, and elsewhere. He writes some
on this blog and says strange things on twitter @jdaugherty1081. He is at work on a novel and is slowly working on a novella.
See Justin’s 5 Things You Should Read in our ongoing contributors’ series.