about the author

Zack Wentz’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Weird Tales, Nerve, Fiction International, Black Clock, Mud Luscious, Golden Handcuffs Review, Opium, In Posse, Pindeldyboz, Mad Hatters’ Review, Swink, Word Riot, elimae, Vestal Review, 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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Upon Receiving the Glove

Zack Wentz

You need to tell me if you’ve received the glove. Certainly, Management is worthy of the stressed stomach shed for Him. It hurts. Since the armistice all rigid-airships, commercial or otherwise, should be surrendered to us. If only you could see Management with His cat. Several canoe women, “water witches,” damp in calico muumuus, have dislodged all sea treasures from their homes for us in support. The rebel sons, who stole...it was a lively chase. You should have seen their heads split out on the rocks like sand-crabs. The soldiers want provisions. Pride not satisfied. Have you ever heard of falling on a rack of tanned leaves? There is danger of new customs. Our consultants at Call-Center are alleging what the true motives are, talking through the silence of this impressive populace of conspirators. Their jackets. Have you seen them? Truly gold. Cut just below the shoulders. They wear nothing underneath. Management is not to be flattered with fine promises, courtesans pushing through the square, pulling trained amphibians on cords of precious twine. It is sickening to be tempted. But what of the Great Crater? Come. You have heard of this. The way the tourists precariously perch, dropping orange slices down, just to experience the loss of color. How you would hate the Outpost. Embers whitened to ashy fate. Nothing moves now there. Drunk officers peer skyward to saffron clouds. We still manufacture those. There is hope. It calls for the use of mold-beaters skin. At least five layers. The family that supplies these call the craft of handling the material “hereditary.” Management has not explored this; it is possible. We have seen early models immobilized by snow, even the false kind, which is bad for moral. Stuffed animals? Portable fans? An inexpensive solution. Clan monopolies threaten Management at levels too involved. Recall our Faith Secretary, trembling in exile, but twenty years old renouncing a life of bitterness and sorry affliction. She looks like hell alone. I’ve seen her in diapers. Vendors of home-brewed soda pop, hot dogs, obscene pies, they surround the perimeter daily, children smeared with drippings of ice-treats, snacked on in turn by flies. Household marketing. Representatives of Management spend loads of tax dollars there, just on translators and guides. Exile versus execution. Do the math. But someone must provide introductions to legends, local gods. Bizarre beauty is not antithetical to splendid citizen. But these people, of such hoary blood, what to give them? Crossword puzzles? They might eat them alive. But what deserves the most attention is the state of Management Curtains. Thickness used to be enough, but weather wears these things so much quicker inside. Air is a process. Blockage is another matter. Movement must be closed off if things are to function in a way that is precise. Temperature options are also costly and must be considered. Another family has been contacted regarding materials. Where they are from, they say the skin grows like vines. I’ve enclosed receipts and a map. Color-coded, of course, as well as a nice, fruit-flavored liquor of some kind. If the latter is missing, smell the courier’s breath. Spicy control. They are awful, expendably awful, but keep rising. Most important is the lamp, which will help you see these things, so you can operate, and the glove. Do not forget the glove. Peel it back. There is still a hand inside that explains everything. This is urgent, quite urgent. We await your reply.

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