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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Star Man

Story by Bill Cook (Read author interview) March 18, 2009

Art by Ferdinand Stöhr

He’s the Uncle Joe who stays up all night downing Monster Energy drinks in his garage with the door open all the way, shredding on Guitar Hero III.

He’s eighty-two and I hope that I am just like him when I get old, I tell Joshua. He says Uncle Joe’s family left him like a thousand years ago.

Do you want to be all alone when you’re his age?

Joshua takes my Big Gulp and downs it.

Maybe he left some Monsters for us.

I say this like Joshua just doesn’t get it. Joshua smashes my Big Gulp cup and shoots two at the trashcan.

He let me try on his army uniform one time.

Joshua’s lips glow Fruit Punch red.

You look like Dracula, I tell him.

We stare at Uncle Joe’s house. The lights are all out. I point at a fading yellow star way past our street.

He said that he came from out there.

About the Author

Bill Cook lives in a semi-rural area in Southern Californias High Desert, and has stories published in Juked, elimae, Thieves Jargon, VerbSap, Tin Postcard Review, Right Hand Pointing and The Summerset Review.

This story appeared in Issue Twenty-Four of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty-Four
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