Excerpt: "Animal Stories", by Max Lavergne

Cover art by Jr.Blue/LashnaTuschewski.

“This was the best summer ever,” the seagull gushed, watching her as she dangled her legs off the edge of the pier.

“Could you tell me why that is,” she wondered, looking at the water in which the seagull was reflected. His reflection was broken into thin ribbons of seagull.

He looked at her like he was confused. It was his way of saying no.

“I know it’s hard,” she said, “but I’d like you to try to think of why this was the best summer ever. I don’t expect your answers to be all about me. I’m a grown-up woman.” What she meant was that she understood if there were things about this summer that were important to him that didn’t include her.

The seagull preened his wing and pretended not to hear her. He was nervous.

“Did you eat an extra tasty chip, maybe,” she asked acidly. He stopped what he was doing and looked at her. “You’ve still got all your feet,” she continued, smoothing down her tennis skirt and resting her elbows on her knees. “That must feel good.”

He resented what she was implying, which was that he was just a dumb scavenging bird, and he felt his emotions bubbling up in his throat. “The night we made all those crazy sandwiches,” he blurted out. “And the meteorite shower. And I’ve really enjoyed just spending time with you.”

She looked at him scornfully. “Uh huh,” she said, and rolled her eyes, and there was a big loud thunderclap and a rush of low, pitch-black clouds seemed to form a terrifying demonic face in the air above them in the second before a an intense rain blast showered down onto the seagull’s head. He shook his head to clear the water from his eyes. “Did you make that happen?” he asked her.

“Yes,” she replied, but she hadn’t really: she was just a dramatic person who was fond of imagining that dramatic things that happened to her happened as a direct result of her personal narrative.

This is one of the four Animal Stories by Max Lavergne appearing in The Twelfth Edition: The Lifted Brow Digital Edition, Volume 6, Issue 2. Get the app and download your copy now!