Across the leaf-ridden asphalt, a glow-in-the dark cut out of the Gorgon sisters sits on the Andersons’ front lawn. In the grass encompassing them, faux-stone people with horrid faces and charred clothing frozen in their attempt to flee. Tim Anderson stands to the left of the sisters, his callused hands unrolling the orange extension cord wound around his elbow.
“Hey Percy,” Myra calls, her spider web nails circling mindlessly across the soapy plate. “Did you see the Andersons’ got new decorations?” Percy enters the kitchen and sets the plastic bins down next to the ladder, his heavy footfalls slicing through the silence. “Look,” she says as their neighbor steps back to admire his work, “Her tits flicker!” Myra chuckles at this, the steam rising from the faucet appearing to expel from her nose. Percy leans over the sink, a frown marring his face when he spots the red bulbs flickering at the tips of Stheno’s brassiere. “That’s a bit much for the little ones,” he says stone-faced. “I prefer to keep it classic.” Percy hitches his thumb back, referencing the gray ghost and tattered scarecrows behind them. “Yes honey,” Myra says, a slither of a smile playing on her lips. “I like the classic look too.”
Out on the porch, Tim waves at Percy and Percy does the same, his muffled voice creeping through the crevices of the kitchen window. “I like the new decorations!” Percy yells. Myra cracks a smile and sets the dish in the drying rack, her eyes glued to them. “Thanks!” Tim shouts back. The pair meet at the end of their respective driveways and exchange timid laments – Tim about his desire for longer days, Percy about the leaves blowing into his and Myra’s yard. At the mention of Myra, Tim looks past Percy and up at the house, raising a hand to wave when he spots her. Myra waves back, the suds rolling down her wrist dampening the orange sleeves bunched up at her elbows. After a few moments the men say their goodbyes and Percy heads up the ladder leaning against the house, ghost heads hanging from his elbows. “I would love to turn you to stone tonight.” Myra types out before hitting send.
Cleveland native Andrea Y. Rodriguez is an Afro-Latina writer based in Chicagoland. She graduated in Fall 2020 with her BA in English from Lewis University. Rodriguez is a 2023 Best of the Net Nominee, a 2023 Wolny Fellowship recipient and has been featured in Cider Press Review, Gnashing Teeth Publishing, FEED, Jet Fuel Review, Ghost Heart Literary Journal and elsewhere. Rodriguez currently works as a Benefit and Payroll Specialist for a local school district.