We carry stubs of crayons from our childhood into the barely-there space of adulthood, melt them down with lighters we steal from our boyfriends who own shit-heap cars we suck them off in. Sometimes, we sit around one of our coffee tables, the kind of platform you build with milk crates and plywood, the only piece of furniture that fits into our ghetto apartments alongside the cheap, cum-stained futons we inherit from our brothers who left for college or Costa Rica a few years ago. We hold the stubs over candles until they turn black and their colour bleeds onto the paper we’ve spread out below, making a sort of stained glass window we’ll hang in the light streaming in off our balcony, the light we’ll bask in hungover and hot-knifing when we have nothing better to do. Sometimes, we let the wax drip onto our hand like a glove, the curls and circles of our fingerprints rising to the surface despite our best efforts to hide our identities with baggy jeans, baggy t-shirts, baggy hair that hangs along the sides of our faces like lanes of a freeway, uncertain who we are and who we’re meant to be. Sometimes, we let the wax bleed into a pool on our palm and we roll it around a wick like a cigarette, stuff its end onto the plywood like a python, then we sit back and watch it burn right down to its very, last breath.
Jennifer Todhunter‘s stories have appeared in The Forge, Hobart, CHEAP POP, and elsewhere. Her work has been selected for Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions, and Wigleaf´s Top 50 Very Short Fictions. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Pidgeonholes and founder of Trash Mag. Find her at www.foxbane.ca or @JenTod_.