FICTION: Excerpts from “Queen in Pieces, Queen Made up of Folded Parts” by E. H. Brogan
September 24, 2019
September 26, 2019


When lightening strikes the side of my face I can feel thunder on my tongue. It tastes like burnt toast. She threw my chapbook in the fire along with some magic dust. This was after our first breakup. Decomposition is a type of composition, Bakunin said. I guess that's why I associate eating with shitting. Does she remember when we ate those ribs at that party in St. Johns? Our hands were covered with barbecue sauce. Every time a mirror breaks I get a new haircut. I put on a mask and disguise myself as myself. She sends me a message on Tumblr telling me to kill myself. Instead of killing yourself, my father says, just change your clothes.



I can’t have visions with the lights on or off. They have to be somewhere in between. I flick them back and forth and see bowling pins with emojis on them. Every building should have a balcony to jump from. As the spotlight hits my face it attracts a termite swarm. What will happen when they get inside me? The ear is also a portal. My nephew can still hear his real mother’s voice, but he can’t understand her language. I try remembering my mother, but all I see is the hole her head made when she collapsed. My father never patched that wall. A bowling ball can destroy all the world’s secrets. Together we flick the lights on and off.​​ 



I’ve always been good at demolishing things. I started by smashing ladybugs but graduated to watermelons. I stepped on Walkmen with my boots. I melted action figures. I unraveled cassette tapes and left them on the sidewalk. Sometimes I wish I were​​ an atomic bomb. My default face is a frown. Don’t tell me to smile. At night I listen to the cicadas. Are those prayers to Mothra, or just knock-knock jokes? Before my mother died she said I only remember the bad times. Now that she’s gone, I can’t seem to get rid of her television. On my porch I stuff birds in my mouth. I shove feathers down my throat. I watch my mother's television and dream of tossing it off a bridge or destroying it with a sledgehammer. I'm not smiling.


Brandon Freels spent most of his life in Portland, Oregon, and has an MS in Writing/Publishing from Portland State University. His work has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Exquisite Corpse, Spork, Patricide, Peculiar Mormyrid, and Hobart. He can be found at brandonfreels.com and on twitter @koalacanth. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.