Monthly Archives: December 2011

From We Have Such Lovely Parting Gifts

by J. Bradley


My index finger wanders the shallow ravine snaking up my left wrist, stopping at the inside of my elbow. I reach over to the bottle of foundation sitting in the medicine cabinet, unscrew the cap and pour some in my right palm, smoothing it over until the ravine looks more like a pale ditch. I work on filling the cavities of the slim zipped grin on my throat. It’s still not enough, though. I don’t want to wear gloves or a scarf but I’ll have to if I don’t want to get stared at even more than I’ll already be stared at. The breeze sneaking through my open bedroom window flutters the shimmery black scala off the shoulder dress hanging in my closet. Now, I just have to find a boy brave enough to take me.

You’re not thinking of wearing that, are you, that fuck-me-after-midnight dress? Especially with your arm. I feel my arm getting hotter, melting the foundation. The ravine, the grin throbs.

“Why are you such a fucking prick? This is my body. Mine. You’re just a passenger, you fuck. Why can’t you fucking get that I want you gone?”

 Our fate is entwined, little girl. The sooner you accept that, the more peaceful your life will be. I can offer you so much if you just embrace me and all that I can offer you with my skills and my powers. 

“What about my father? He can’t stop buying Mason jars because of you. Your ‘powers’ continue fucking his mind closer and closer to mush.”

My ‘powers’ saved your life. A few times. How quickly you forget.

“You only saved me because you need me, you selfish prick. Do you think your Aphrodite would want to see you like this, pathetic, using the body of a little girl to hide from death itself?” My stomach and body cave. I barely keep my head from hitting the floor.

You little bitch, how dare you invoke the name of my beloved wife. How dare you call me a coward.

“You’ve been swimming in me long enough to pick up some of your memories. You’ve never had a host talk back. Then again, you’ve lost your strength being trapped in that jar for one hundred years. You need me to get well again, to bring yourself back. I’m going to make your life Hell until you decide to abandon my body, even more so now, Hephaestus.” I feel my right lung wither.

You can’t fuck if you can’t breathe.

“You can’t breathe if I can’t breathe.” My lung, stomach, and body rebuild. I suck the air in through my teeth. I listen to the wind ruffle the curtains and my homecoming dress.


J. Bradley is a contributing writer to Specter Magazine and the Interviews Editor of PANK Magazine. He lives at