Lingual Lure

 Gavin took an alternate route home that night out of resentment of his life. He passed an apartment building rounded by dog-eared notices and cordons of condemnation. There he heard a voice call out from a lightless balcony. 

 “Let me in, Mama.” A young boy’s. Barely old enough to form the consonants. Gavin approached the rusted railings of a fire escape. Daylight fading fast along with the time to act.

 “Please, Mama, open the door,” he begged. Gavin thought of the child falling. Or succumbing to hypothermia. Unable to see anything from the ground, he put his hands on the ladder’s flayed paint.

 Just then a strong gust raked the balcony. Wire centipedal festoons of severed chicken legs punctured at the bone. A clutch of mammalian eyes, each glistening and moist, strung like beads. All these things and others his memory did not permit billowed over the veranda’s edge like wind chimes. 

 Gavin swerved his bicycle through the upturned and wheelless cars. Something beat dull hollow notes from the iron rungs.

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