Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 15
Summer, 2014

Featured painting, Riding the Dragon by Leslie Ditto.

Featured Novel Excerpt
New Works

Joyce Chong


You know that when you close your eyes there are termites chewing out of your skull. The soft flutter of moth wings against your occipital bone, the quiet crumbling of anthills. Your head is a glass jar with a stick in it and a few holes poked into the lid. Your head is a locked room, poison seeping across the floors, fog in a field while the moon is wild and glowing.

You know that you are a menagerie waiting to burst. The clicking behind your ears, the sound of gossamer unravelling when you shut your eyes at night, spiders silent while the crickets struggle muffled in their sticky, silk cocoon.

You hired an exterminator once to clear out the mites and the roaches, and he soaked your head in mild poisons. All was silent, for a little while, until they came back. Ticks, ladybugs, millipedes and dragonflies, breathing in the faint vestiges of insecticide, and growing stronger.

And even now, as you sit with your hands in front of you, the fire ants are flitting in and out of the cracks in your skin. When you soak your hands in the sink full of cold water, the spiders float to the top, struggling and gurgling before they curl up into little balls, and you are sorry because they were a part of you but now they are nothing but little knotted black threads drifting in the water.

You dry your hands while butterflies rise from the towel and scatter luminescent blotches. Shut your eyes, there is quiet. The silence of white noise; a million things living, chewing, spinning, ticking, crawling, dying, dropping, crunching, breathing, living inside your head. And not even the blink of your eyes says anybody's home.

But wait, do you hear it? Louder now. They are peeling off your skin, and running out your mouth, and ripping through your eardrums and you can't hear anything at all now. Only feel them walking over you, only see them blacking out your vision...

Joyce Chong is a student living in Ontario, Canada. Recent publications include Pieces of Cake, Every Day Fiction and theNewerYork, with work forthcoming in Wyvern Lit.