m a r k    s e i d l

Jittery Hunter


I try on several outfits—Startled Hyena, Friendly Sniper— before I settle on Insomniac Bear. It looks huge. But it fits over my shoulders with a comfortable snugness, & when I zip it up my head brushes the bedroom ceiling. Through the eye holes everything looks bent & jagged like the old saw I have to drag though wood if the house is to be warm at all. I snarl at this & the rest of my afflictions. I lumber outside where the neighbors shuffle down their walkways robed in Slasher-Movie Victim. I charge, scythe my claws left & right. The neighbors shriek & fall, blood spraying from their ripped chests. Now I'm ready to take this rampage through the city. Then you step out onto the front porch, the bright orange cap of Jittery Hunter pulled down to your brows. You raise your rifle & squint down the barrel. A muscle jerks in your cheek. I throw open my thick bear arms, my paws sticky with shreds of flesh. Your finger trembles on the trigger. Soon everyone will know of our love.



MARK SEIDL loves New York's Hudson Valley, where he lives and works as a special collections librarian, but he wishes more dogwood trees grew there. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bakery, Matchbook, and NAP.

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