He found a bird with a broken wing and stepped on it. Not with a single thump of a boot though. What he did is step on the broken wing first with one foot, and step on the good wing with his other foot and move his toes away from the bird’s body until a bone cracked. Remy told him to stop but he didn’t. He held the bird at the winged edges with his feet, the sun framing the bird’s body in yellow light as the bird exhaled its last crystal. This was the worst thing Pants McDonovan ever did as a child.
When Megan was a child she had an imaginary friend named Tock Ocki who only appeared when she used the toilet. Tock Ocki always sat in the corner of the bathtub. He had a toddler’s body and the head of a lion. Megan would tell Tock Ocki about the kids at school throwing sand in her eyes during recess and how at lunch they said she would be alone forever because she was F.A.T FAT. All Tock Ocki ever did was nod in agreement. On occasion, he would tell her in a weird and creepy animal whisper that she was special, and special people are destined to do special things. Sometimes when she asked, he would stand in the tub, claw at the air near his ears, and roar.
Shane Jones is the author of Light Boxes, The Failure Six, and A Cake Appeared. A new novel, Daniel Fights a Hurricane, will be published this week by Penguin.