We made up our minds to try all the flavors of Slurpees, even the ones that sounded gross: hot blue Margarita, coffee-banana jolt. Life is boring but we’re not, is what we told everybody, flashing our toe rings and our Slurpee-colored hair, and when Todd Paquette dared us to take off our tops we said we would, told him to meet us at the shut-down skate park, and flashed him our painted chests: FUCK, said yours, the U teasingly cradling your nipple; YOU, said mine, our t-shirts held to the sky across the cracked and empty cement bowl, red letters big enough for his watching friends to see. We stayed long enough to see his jaw drop, linked arms, raised middle fingers, ran home with all their too-late slams following us like wind, skanks, lezzies, hos, nothing could catch us, not even the news next morning, Todd with his father’s gun, we heard that and kept running: whatever he’d tried to prove to them and failed, the crushed look in his eyes when our shirts came up, what he felt when we were gone and his friends hurled their words at him instead of us: none of it would find us if we just kept running.

***

Kathryn Kulpa is an editor at Cleaver Magazine and has work published or forthcoming in Best Microfiction 2020, Atlas & Alice, X–R-A-Y Literary Magazine, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. She was the winner of the Vella Chapbook Contest for her flash fiction collection Girls on Film and a finalist in the 2020 Digging Press Chapbook Competition.