Adolescent by Erik Pecukonis


I. Process

This was the point that everything became ‘darker’
gathering the leaves
off the side of the road near the house and seeing
a hound come out from
an image of yellow worms eating my heart. The way things
to a far smaller size, to a quarter
of their size when I was outside smoking a cigarette and saw
a man in a black trench coat walk
through my backyard and press himself through a knothole
in the fence. I told my brother I thought we were
in California and told my dad I was a vampire
as I sucked blood from my finger and ate a bunch of ice cream
which didn’t help at all. I ground them all up
with a coffee grinder and then threw it
out because my mom she used
grinder and I didn’t want her
to trip out. She’s pretty

II. Preparation

The flowers taste better when you have
more of them, but wiping them
out means wiping out the plants in the next harvest, although
I was lucky because the heat
did that, dried out everything though
last night, when I put my fingers into them and then
through them, moisture appeared
on the exposed edges of the jar.

III. Transformation

I was suddenly on my aunt’s tree swing telling my first girlfriend that I didn’t want to sing at her funeral.

I started wandering down a hallway looking for a doctor.

She begged me saying that I had played the guitar beautifully and besides ‘Jan hates me.’

I checked the backyard and said there was a hole in the fence.

We were both moaning and felt very scared, lonely, and regretful.

The only remaining door had been shored up with horrible iron bars and badly placed bricks.

I said ‘I’d like to pretend we’re back in high school’ and she started clearing her throat a lot for some reason.

I was like a little kid, a cave man or something.

We met a man and he looked like a werewolf.

In the school auditorium a game show was going on the stage and I saw a girl next to me I fell in love with. I felt the love through my body.

I threw all the towels into the closet.

Next to the McDonald’s, he touched his beard, said ‘some stuff.’ He showed me his dark long fingernails, his face was very old and hairy (werewolf-like).

Out there, the night was feeling evil.

I staggered into the bathroom and vomited in the closest urinal, right in front of an Amish man.

After a bunch of stuff I don’t really remember, smoke canisters were thrown through windows in the auditorium, spewing smoke all over.

I did have a classic quote though: ‘Under tapestry ho-wai,’ followed by a bunch of Mandarin (I’m bilingual).

Everything still has an odd feeling.

IV. Parties

When she came home, the first thing she did was tell me that when she woke up that morning she found our cat cold, stiff, and dead on the couch. She picked it up and held it for a while. When she put the cat down, she said it awoke from the dead and started walking around. She said that after we left, all sorts of people she hadn’t seen in a long time showed up at our apartment, and that there was a big party. She thought that both my friend and I had come back at some point during the night. She said she had a lot of fun.


“Werewolf” image by Flickr user Chez Moi

Erik Pecukonis is a writer and musician living in Baltimore City, Maryland. His work has been featured most recently in Everyday Genius,  NEBO: A Literary Journal, and Artichoke Haircut. He studied English at the University of Maryland, College Park.