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's stories have appeared in over 320 literary journals including Electric Literature, Tin House, Jellyfish Review, Smokelong Quarterly and McSweeney's. Her flash fiction has recently been anthologized in Best Small Fictions, 2018 and two Norton Anthologies: New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018) and Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015). Her new collection of microfiction, The Sadness of Night Bugs, will be out this Fall from Pelekinesis Press. Meg’s fifth collection, Alligators At Night, was published by Ad Hoc Fiction (2018). She currently serves as Co-Editor of the Best Microfiction, 2019 anthology, Managing Editor of New Flash Fiction Review, Festival Curator for Flash Fiction Festival, UK and Flash Fiction Focus Editor for Mslexia Magazine. Meg teaches online flash fiction courses. You can find out about them here: http://flashfictionworkshops.uk/ Her author website is megpokrass.com/ and on Twitter: @megpokrass

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