Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Common Deer Press
Date of Publication: May 15, 2018
ISBN: Hardcover ISBN: 978-988761-08-4
Paperback: ISBN: 978-1-988761-07-7
E-Book ISBN: 978-1-988761-09-1
Number of pages: 162
Word Count: 45k
Cover Artist: Ellie Sipila
Imagine the son of Cinderella and Noah. That's Alabaster Ash, professional window washer and amateur foot fetishist, thrall to his three physically fit, brutally aggressive stepsisters.
After polishing foot after foot of glass in the gingerbread city of Candyland and cleaning up after the “wicked stairmasters,” he haunts the bars and streets looking for love and appreciation -or a really nice pair of feet.
Like it or not, Alabaster finds himself reliving and reimagining his parents' lives as he roams from bar to bar, from thrill ride to stunt show in the linguistic funland that is ARK.
Ground squirmed past the windows, shuffling racks of bones and skulls under the soptoil as clouds crept along the horizon. On the bus, all the windows let in cold air and hung like a racked row of ice cubes in a tray, but I barely cracked the bottle.
Out I poured when the doors opened, unable to feel my legs, unable to see the ocean, but I could smell the salty marsh marching wet blue harridans, swiping and batting the spit, pushing the blood and saltboxing up fatjuices into my sinuses.
Jammed a kwata in the belly box and engaged the line.
–I’ve arrived. I’m here.
–That’s great. I bet a little walk will feel like a little slice of heaven, eh?
–Well, I’ll leave the light on for you, Buddy.
I slid on my gloves and tried not to flinch at the sudden mustering of prickly discs skipping to my face. I leaned in hard and clacked through town, blackened and boarded and unblinking, barely wicklit. Smatter rooms to let. Ingrown hairs. Offseason. Unseasoned in the savorless in and out drag of the tonguetide. I dashed through a carless parking lot and into an astralamped glass meadow jotting down quivering blue starlight ink- puddles into suckshifts of snowhunchbanks humpbacking the outermost stretch of tideland. To the left, a skit of cloven unguals stirred it seemed, crunchy, but I only got half an ear worth and couldn’t noctoscop the goings-on of could be caribou or elk or deer bowing their head, bowing their head before the almighty peering down hard and in, like the retractable Polton and Crane lamp in the dentist’s office that hangs my mouth open.
Inside the blackness, the stickiting, ricketing pickets of thickets wiggle on their dicot studs without me seeing, while they shot out the other side and stitched a black curtain against the edge of the rest of the world. I clacked another mile stretch as brine wafers tickled my ears and swizzled my nos- trils while Lawrence Welk drift popping jollyjawdropping orbs uncorked across my field of vichy.
Estrella’s was a lighthouse, though not the vertical variety. But it glowed.
Light hung out over the glass and flabbed fat, hotwhite dough out the sides as I took up her street. This was another gingerbread house, hundreds of miles from home, though this one in earshot of the beach. I rang and rang and rang and then just opened the door.
About the Author:
Jesse Miller is the author of Unwrap Your Candy and the forthcoming ARK, both available from Common Deer Press. He is a Visiting Assistant Lecturer in English at the University of New England. He lives in the great city of Portland, Maine with his wife, two cats, and dog. Jesse roots for the Red Sox.
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