Alligators at Night

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Alligators at Night by Meg PokrassYou remember when you lived in Florida briefly, walking to the store with your husband in the middle of the night. You remember the sound of alligators crooning like deranged, nocturnal cows, all the way to the Seven-Eleven, from each side of the highway. You remember thinking that they must regularly sing to people on their way to the Seven-Eleven, mostly a welcome sound, because there is a three-hour walk there, and a three-hour walk home, and the night sky is so velvety in the summer, and the singing alligators are like jazz. It’s like you’re in a jazz club, but walking outside.

Walking to the Seven-Eleven, what you sometimes want is to never actually get there. Because you are holding hands, feeling his warm, fine skin. He has not yet had his dose of whiskey and his breath has not yet become thick as a mushroom cloud. You have not yet said you have a migraine, and that you don’t really feel like snuggling because your body is so sweaty after the six-hour walk. You have not yet cried or threatened to leave and you have not yet been quieted by your husband with his body half asleep and given up the fight.

You remember that your walk to the Seven-Eleven is glorious, you are both present but so quiet, the two of you loving the sound of strange overgrown creatures who are so close to you, but attached to their watery homes. Sometimes you can imagine these animals are chasing you and your husband all the way to the Seven-Eleven, but mostly you just think of them there in the dark, without alcohol and probably without love.

Photo by David Olimpio




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About Author

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Meg Pokrass is the author of six flash fiction collections and two novellas-in-flash. Her work has been anthologized in Flash Fiction International and New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Wigleaf Top 50, Best Small Fictions, 2018 and 2019, Flash Non-Fiction Funny, My Very End of the Universe – Five Novellas in Flash and a Study of the Form, Nothing Short Of 100, Funnybone, National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, the Biffy 50, 2019, and others. Her flash has appeared in over 350 literary journals including Electric Literature, Tin House, Tupelo Quarterly, Wigleaf, and Smokelong Quarterly. Meg currently serves as Flash Challenge Editor at Mslexia Magazine, Festival Curator for Flash Fiction Festival, U.K., Co-Editor of Best Microfiction 2020, and Founding/Managing Editor of New Flash Fiction Review. Her new collection, The Dog Seated Next to Me, will be published in 2019 by Pelekinesis Press and a novella-in-flash, The Smell of Good Luck is forthcoming from Flash: The International Short Short Story Press.

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