Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

The Coco Man
Jeffrey H. MacLachlan

Hello Carroll, where are my kids? Feel the chill of descending many stairs. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? There is a basement door that is chipped, steel, and tired of opening. The basement door locks and shadows lay passed out along the floor. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? There is the thin, sweet taste of natural gas and basement flood. Hello Carroll, where are my kids?

The bag of crystal is there. A fresh glass pipe is there. Second-hand teddy bears roam freely there. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? An unplugged washing machine wags its cord there. Red blankets cover windows so no one can hear you there.

You will dream a pesadilla. You will hear my voice through a fuzzy radio signal. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? You fall asleep on a mattress printed with shackled children feasting on an inflorescence of wisteria. They keel over, oval faces dyed yellow. Shell wind chimes clang and rattle as if dying for a kiss. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? I have come for what is promised.


Jeffrey H. MacLachlan has recent or forthcoming work in New Ohio Review, Eleven Eleven, Santa Clara Review, among others. He teaches literature at Georgia College & State University. He can be followed on Twitter @jeffmack.