FOURTH OF JULY
By L.M. Camiolo
Content Warnings: Death, insects.
An older boy crushes a firefly against a tree, smears still-glowing segments across rough bark. It makes her deeply sad and suddenly afraid, as if he’s part of larger darkness she’s yet to see. Across the yard, adults scrape burgers from the grill—a perfect excuse to flee. Mid-run across the grass, she inhales a gnat, gags and coughs as it halts her. It sticks in her throat, no matter what she does. She imagines it stuck there forever, feels panic clouding as she sprints to the cooler, seeking Sprite to wash it down. Behind her, death still glows. Radiant.
L.M. Camiolo is a writer and editor from Philadelphia whose interests include horror, hauntology, and antiquing for oddities. She is co-founder of Impostor, a poetry journal. You can find more of her work at lmcamiolo.wordpress.com, or connect on Instagram @shoresofpluto.