by a contributor

a brief encounter from Katy Gunn

He receives a welcome email from a department store at which his email address, home address, and phone number have been entered for a registry. Name your registry now, says the e-mail. The graphics appear equally themed between weddings and baby showers. There are a few graduation hats. So far, he is registered for twelve Bratz dolls, a machine to make rocket pops, a machine to make snow cones, and twenty-six twin-sized Disney bedding sets. The bedding sets cover twenty-six different movies, at least three with titles he has never heard.

He is looking up a trailer for The Black Cauldron when he receives another e-mail from the department store offering him twenty percent off any purchase that exceeds two hundred dollars. Above this, an email from his own address appears with Daddy my favorite movie is Fantasia in large green font. The first reply to this email says My Favorite Is The Fox And The Hound, and from that point the favorites proliferate. He moves back to his registry page, the margins of which read Best New Family Minivan 2013 and Free Séance Online Only $20. The latter speaks to him about spiritualism if he hovers his curser over it.

His inbox blinks with a new email from the department store offering thirty percent off any purchase that exceeds two hundred and fifty dollars. He receives the opinion that The Great Mouse Detective is the best movie of all lifes. He hesitates over his trackpad. He taps to reply all. Only his address appears in the address bar. How many of there are you? he sends, but any response gets lost in all of the favorites. Every time he tries to shift back through them for a hard number, another favorite appears and he gets knocked back to the bottom of the thread.

Katy Gunn (katygunn.blogspot.com) is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama with writing forthcoming from BirkensnakeJellyfishH_NGM_N, and more.