The hole in my back
There's a hole in my back where I store things for an apocalypse, always at the ready. It holds a battery salvaged from an '77 Volkswagen Beetle, a year's worth of Contender green beans stolen from the farmer next door, and a Swiss Army knife my father left with his will. I carry these inside me wherever I go. I left work at the sewage plant to go on vacation to Kentucky. It was in Daniel Boone National Forest that I realized I couldn't reach the items in my back. If something were to happen I'd need someone else to reach into my back and pull these survival tools out. For this reason I adopted a small child and interested him with the crater in my back, needing him to bury inside and bring the items out when needed. Like my late father before me, I want to be prepared for anything. When this child in my back is needed I'll call to him, let him know that it's time for the world to fall apart.
The Tattooed Man
Every time the man met a new person, he would get a tattoo to remind him of the fresh acquaintance. When the cashier at the grocery story — whose name tag read: Mía — told the man her name, the man went straight to the tattoo parlor with his perishables that needed refrigerating. He inked a gallon of milk that read 100% Mía, in the memory of the milk that spoiled sitting in his hot summer car. The man was running out of room for tattoos, so he tried avoiding humanity. When people off the streets would try to talk to the tatted man, he would plug his ears and run away screaming. People started thinking he was crazy. When he became an old man, his skin was wrinkly and illegible. The man couldn't read or remember the people that he met in his lifetime. Good or bad. It was all a colorful blur.
It was the coldest day of the year in Ohio, 3 feet of snow settled on the path to the post office. The woman had to deliver a package for her grandmother who snow-birded down to Key West and lived in a gated community as she awaited a peaceful death. The woman dreaded the waist-high snow that would leave her jeans wet all day at work in the Telecommunications office, but knew her grandmother needed what was inside. She stepped into the snow which compacted under her weight, never fully dropping to the ground, but rather forming stilts to stand taller and see further.
's writing has appeared in Booth, Pithead Chapel, Atticus Review, Hobart, X-R-A-Y
and elsewhere. He reads for TriQuarterly, Longleaf Review
and Barren Magazine
. When Corey isn't brewing beer for a living in Cleveland, he likes to take the dogs for adventures. In addition to his website (linked), follow him on Twitter