The Game of Life - Jane Matthews

Fuck. Denim always shrinks when it’s wet. 

Dan peeled his cold jeans down his legs with weak and shaking hands. His thighs and penis pale and wrinkled into fine lines as if he’d been in the bath too long. 

The smell of caffeinated urine closed his throat.

He dropped his pants onto a pile of old pizza boxes and stepped across the hall to the bathroom.

He squinted at himself in the bright lights over the mirror—the pasty skin, the dark shadows around his bloodshot eyes, the stubble.

He was a winner though. Alexi and Justis were right on his tail all night. He’d snuck down corridors, around corners where lurking fiends jumped out with guns and nunchucks, he’d ducked ninja stars, jumped rolling barrels, cut his way out of falling nets and dived under flamethrowers. He was exhausted. 

Justis should be better at that stuff than him. Justis was waiting on death row. He hadn’t said what he’d done. U.S. penitentiaries had pretty sophisticated censor spyware. But Dan looked up his case online. The Roanoke Tribune.

Some letters to the editor said the death penalty was a good idea. Get rid of that scum, costing the taxpayer to keep them alive. An eye for an eye and all that. But when they chatted online sometimes, he was just another person.

Seems Justis was a trucker out of Philadelphia. Lost a lot on poker. Had the occasional toke. No previous. 

Then the cops found the eyes. Floating in a jar above the sink like two jellyfish.

Contributor's Note

Jane is a perennial student who loves words.


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