Coming of the Cousins

by Zack Wentz

Amptimage is hurling down and he is alone up there. The one who used to fly, so he’s allowed, required. No one else would know what to do with it: all that height. Daner is almost gone by a jewel twice-size his head, but luck. Luck and quick head. Some blood on it now, though. Ah, Daner. Kissed him for it.

“Why does he toss ‘em so?” Daner.

“No thought, love.” I.

Amptimage keeps clearing the roof, and cousins will be here, night more likely than day.

“Do you see?” I. To Amptimage.

More jewels, but lighter.

“Yuh.” Amptimage. To me. What he gets in anyway. Soon they’ll be.

“The cousins!” I. Kiss Daner.

“Away!” Daner. Pushes. His foot. My cocks.


All up on pale boards: cases. More dirt we could get up the roof. Morning. Daner. Jewel cuts, hit when he wasn’t looking, head less quick than I saw. Face forward and forward is up, Daner, blowing blood bubbles loud off his head.

Amptimage has cleared the roof, still up, screaming for cousins, and in cases me passing dirt up. All of this shines. Can dissolve. Cracked white jewels. The dirt on the bottom, getting it up, covering the shine, will make it right for the cousins. If only Daner were feral.

“Now?” I. Up.

“Yuh.” Amptimage. Down.

Cousins. Any now.

Daner makes a moan shorter than sky. What’s left of that.


Push on a boot, on Daner, my cocks. Bubbles out his insides and I taste: like jewels, but red, like jewels, but wet. Daner, love. Dirt we couldn’t get up stuck there across Daner’s. Cases emptier, half over the roof, Amptimage filthy, tossing it like rage. We’ll stick out brown, shoving off that sun when it happens. Cousins first. Stay, dark. Cousins first.

Less dirt to pull, on more jewels, closer to Amptimage, who’s lower, but full. The arms of Amptimage fly sprinkling mud. Dirt. What dribbles out Amptimage: his head, heart, holes. Used to fly. Back. Or someone over him did. Amptimage chuckling muddy space. Daner undone. I, me, unlovely, pushing dirt up, but less. Cousins. Some now. Nearer day.

Daner comes up when I pull, higher heap of jewels. His bones sigh. Mouth is out of it.

“Daner.” I. Lick.

Still tastes jewel. Worse.

“Yuh.” Amptimage. Screams.

Losing darkness, quick as a ball.

Push up a good half of the cases. Last dirt, and push Daner in, up to the roof. Amptimage pushes down.

“Nuh! Nuh! Nuh!”

Foot crossing my head.

“Cousins?” I. Up. Out.

“Yuh.” Amptimage. Down. Over.

We almost are ground.


The day pushes as I rub ears, roof upside, jewels under. Flat as Daner. Cases. Flat as sleep. Amptimage pushes roof with ass down, in dirt. We’re all that doesn’t shine.

Jewels are swelling under pushing up, high. Farts cut like slivers from Daner. Empty of mud. Empty of eyes. Roof pushes down. Hurling inside. My bones go.

Out my side eye, Amptimage. Sun now. Shining, all sides. Some shadows slip up, and down come new sticks. On Amptimage, all over. Thudding. Mud coming. The cousins! The cousins! Arrived! Sun more horrible than I can know.

Amptimage, broken, shows them me. They push down low, newsticks prying my sides. Up I come, unburied.

“Cousins.” I. Up. Out. Over. Inside.

This is the sun. This is the sun we saw buried through.

Gets on dirt, roof, shriveling jewels under sky. Things come more open than sky.

“Thank God we’ve found you.” Cousins. Down. In.

In in. In in in.

“Thank God we’ve found you still alive!”








Zack Wentz’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in New York Tyrant, Weird Tales, Black Clock, >kill author, Golden Handcuffs Review, decomP, Opium, NANO Fiction, Necessary Fiction, Mud Luscious, Nerve, 3: AM, Fiction International, Short, Fast, and Deadly, Word Riot, elimae, Vestal Review, In Posse, and elsewhere. His novel The Garbageman and the Prostitute was published by Chiasmus Press. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of New Dead Families.


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