Night in Amerika – Story by Steve Calamars


Night in Amerika by Steve Calamars

     The noose hangs from a ceiling fan.  It consists of a dull green extension-cord.  It’s positioned in the center of the small apartment.
     Clint Garrett stands up from an opened book stretched out over a desk.  The book is Amerika by Franz Kafka.  The desk is constructed from a plush red wood and situated in a corner.
     Amerika has elicited a peculiar excitement.  Clint has a protrusion in his slacks.  He picks up the chair he was previously seated in and walks it to the center of the apartment.
     Clint climbs up on the chair and drops his slacks.
     He slips his neck into the noose and pulls it snug.  He experiences a warm primitive sensation.
     Clint looks into a seemingly static nocturnal comic-strip pasted outside of the window.  He breathes in the city and kicks the chair from beneath his feet.
     The noose shrinks.
     He hangs there and Amerika shuffles through his brain like a deck of cards.
     His body jerks and spasms.  Clint spurts white moths and polished pearl beetles.  The moths flutter up towards the ceiling fan.  The beetles fall to the floor, exoskeletons brittle as porcelain, shattering like antiques and fine China.
     The apartment goes still.
     Clint is suspended from the noose, completely limp and drooping.  The only movement detectable is the frenetic white moths bumping into the light bulbs in the ceiling fan.  The moths almost appear to be hovering over Clint’s head, like a thin shelf of smoke or slack halo—
Bio: Steve Calamars lives in Texas. He has a B.A.  in Philosophy and works in a grocery store. His first collection of short stories, six years of relative happiness, is available at Barnes& and  He is a Pushcart Prize nominee.  He is currently working on his second book. He can be found @ sccalamars[at]

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