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The Short Form

“A Rage Forever”

Eric Shade

Excerpt

After thirty minutes our man Big Al got two cans of Aquanet from the trunk of his car, put matches to their nozzles, and made flame throwers, screaming, spinning his arms, drawing circles of blue. He looked like the Chinese firewheels we used to get on the Fourth. The Bootjackers hurried to their cars. I threw my bat at one of them and knocked a hubcap free. They left.

Then Big Al bought us a case of beer.

We drank, stacked the empties into pyramids, and bowled our rolled-up socks at them in my parents carport. We used the hubcap I'd knocked free as an ashtray. Big Al wasn't with us for the party, but his wildness still infected us, made us howl at everything, the moon and the streetlights and a pair of pantyhose whipping on a clothesline in the moonlight. We were nursing the inspiration, the sheer fact of Big Al's existence, and our own.

We read it in Eyesores.