×

SmokeLong Quarterly

Share This f l Translate this page

Inroads

Story by Dominic Preziosi (Read author interview) September 15, 2007

It’s like falling in love, at first, that little buzz behind his navel somewhere, a tiny tuning fork humming a song of something good under way, or about to get under way. Anticipation: he remembers it now. No sensation like it.

He spreads his palm over the spot, taking possession. It’s with him when he drives to work, like company along for the ride; he’s not so alone now, descending to the interstate. He enjoys it in private, between bites of the baked chicken his wife makes every Wednesday. Nothing to worry about–just the opposite, in fact, until it wrenches him from deep sleep one Sunday morning at three-fifteen. What the hell was that? Sitting up he wonders if it really happened, or if it was just the refrigerator acting up–he’s always lost in the middle of the night.

But next time he knows exactly where he is. Jesus, he says, elbowing his wife; it’s happening again. Soon it’s become something else: a thrum, a growl. It spreads to his groin and touches his spine; each vertebra recoils in response.

The doctor looks up at him from behind thick glasses. And you first noticed it when? Because it seems to have made serious inroads.

Inroads. Incursions. Unwanted advances. He imagines it mapping out secret paths inside him, even as he submits to further examination. It radiates from where it first settled, sneaking past inadequate barriers, pushing out feelers, spreading black branches….

And here he thought it was life that had come back to seize him.

About the Author

Dominic Preziosi’s stories and articles have appeared online and in print in such publications as Avery, Commonweal, Descant, Front Porch, the Saint Ann’s Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, and, most recently, Nautilus. His story “The Way Back” was named a Best of the Internet in 2010 by Sundress Press.

This story appeared in Issue Eighteen of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Eighteen
ornament

Support SmokeLong Quarterly

Your donation helps writers and artists get paid for their work. If you’re enjoying what you read here, please consider donating to SmokeLong Quarterly today.

High Intensity Interval Training for Flash Writers with Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Book Now!

Bring a pen, lots of paper, and your water bottle: this is a high-intensity guided-writing work-out designed to kickstart creativity, and push you into new territory, and exercise flash muscles you didn’t even know you had.

Maybe you’re stuck in a story and looking for a way to proceed.  Maybe you’re looking to generate new ideas.  Maybe your inner editor is holding you back.  Maybe you’re in a rut or have writers’ block or are just wanting to shake things up a bit.  This session is designed to tackle all these issues and help you level up your flash fitness.  Writers of all backgrounds and experience levels warmly welcome; come along, roll up your sleeves, and trust the process.