The Black Eye / 20 June 2002

Workmen tearing up the street with giant mechanical wasps, wheezing, forest green. Shouts, and the digging equipment shudders into silence. I can’t make out what’s happening through the binoculars. An orange-vested man drops beneath the surface of the street and remains hidden for 10-12 minutes. I can hear birds singing for the first time.

Finally he emerges with a skull in his sinister hand, and I just about fall down dead when I see the black jewel embedded in its forehead. Little Owen Finn, age seven, dangerously stupid and brutal, lisped profanities, a distinctive odor, the congenital gem, the Black Eye, coveted by all, elliptical and lightless, framed by scabbed skin, here after all this time.

His mother on the midday news seven years ago, dabbing at her eyes with a bandanna, “He’s gone, that little angel has left us, gone back to heaven, up, up there, in the clouds, sitting right there in the clouds, playing the littlest harp in the world, the tiniest littlest song, so cute and little you can’t even hear it, way up there, look up into heaven, up in the sky, that’s where he’s gone to,” and now I get it, she was keeping everyone’s eyes away from the manhole cover at her feet that was still slightly askew, muffling the last words of her demon spawn, “I can still see through this eye,” waterlogged and bucktoothed.

Joshua Green Allen

Fireland is a rickety old website by Joshua Allen.

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The Sexiest Sentence Alive, Fireland Broke My Will To Live, The Black Pill Diaries, and a sampling of Old Fireland Designs.

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