about the author

Sheldon Lee Compton lives in Kentucky. His work has appeared in PANK, > kill author, Metazen, DOGZPLOT, Keyhole and elsewhere.

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Mating Ritual

Sheldon Lee Compton

We tore them to make rings. We found if you shook them more than three times to get them drunk they would die.

Once when I was old enough to buy from a bootlegger without much problem, I smeared the ass end of one across my teeth and smiled in the darkness.

They were kept in jars. They could not be seen during the day. Even then they only had about fifteen years left to live.

Artificial light was the problem, the thing that kept the male from finding the female, a lighthouse of bug love overwhelmed by a lamp post.

I told her this, watching for a smile. I looked for light between her lips and counted days.

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