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by Simon Pinkerton

We teased each other that we were frightened of the occult until we each felt the need to prove our bravery. We linked hands and Natalie said that if we did this certain chant then the person in the middle would levitate. Kevin’s sister Lizzy volunteered. She lay there among us and you could see her bra through her top. All the girls were giggling and really concentrating on getting her to lift but I looked at Jon and Neil and Steve and Matt and they were all just looking at her bra. So it was bitched from the start. I thought about how often boners might ruin incredible supernatural experiences.

Neil put some odd techno on the stereo and we sat around talking about the bands we like and how Mr Douglas in the girls’ school was a creep, and Lizzy was not floating, but was moaning about her parents and how all they did was gripe and yell at each other about everything, and how she couldn’t understand why they didn’t just get a divorce instead of ruining her life. Her whining didn’t seem to bother me too much and she was looking right at me the whole time, and the light in the room was really dim and hazy, and everything appeared magical.

Lizzy said her dad had this weird smell and that after he’d been in a room for a while you could walk in and smell where he’d been, and it made her sick, even though she felt mean that it did. I said that a lot of older men have a nasty smell about them, that it was their decaying dreams, and she laughed for ages, and it seemed like everyone else had gone away somewhere. When I looked around Neil was sitting over by the stereo speakers talking to Hannah and looking nervous. Lizzy put her hand on my face and then she leaned over towards me and kissed me on the mouth. It was my first time. I didn’t know what to do. I hoped I was young enough to not have my own weird man smell. I was surprised at the coldness of her lips, but she smelled amazing and she was so pretty. I couldn’t believe that she had chosen me. I wanted to feel her chest so badly that I couldn’t think about anything else.

It felt like we were kissing for hours. Kevin walked in the room and Lizzy jumped back and that was that for the night. We locked eyes and separated, went to bed, boys in one room and girls in another, but I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I was so glad that the levitation thing didn’t happen because who needed that when you had this?

Kevin was awake with me I saw, kept lifting his head to look over. After a while he crawled over, whispered that he hated his sister, and tried to kiss me too.


Simon Pinkerton lives in a slightly low-rent part of London, with his wife and two boys and millions of microscopic organisms, ahhh gross. He is a contributor to McSweeney’s, Word Riot, Minor Literature[s] and Queen Mobs Tea House, among other fine sites. Befriend @simonpinkerton.

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