Tag Archive: pravica


Lights Out by Sean Pravica

Debra hated her name.  It sounded old and unsexy.  Debbie was only slightly better, in that it didn’t automatically make her sound like she was over forty. 

While she was recovering from surgery in the hospital bed, the girl next to her was a college student named Lucy.  She was frail, but her blue eyes bordered on supernatural.  They were bright as Christmas lights, made only more so against her pale, white skin and dark, black hair.  She looked familiar, but that may have been only that she seemed so cliched with her junky body and sniffling nose, nervous hands and twitching mouth.

Debbie imagined Lucy’s bedroom life.  Though only a couple years younger, she could see Lucy leading a messy, typical, spoiled girl’s existence, full of powdered fingernails digging into her ass, bloodshot eyes hard to see in the candlelit minimalism of her dorm room.  She imagined a bed, dresser, bookcase highlighted by Augustine Burrows and Sylvia Plath, sink, closet, and mirror, plus lighters, cigarettes, ziplock bags and bottles of varying shapes and emptiness/fullness (perspective depends on day and weather), needles, balloons, hollowed pens, and smaller mirrors.

While her mind drifted to the tamer setting she inhabited, Debbie felt a shooting pain from below again, but smiled when she opened her eyes to see the small, pink glow before it blinked off beneath the sheets. She could already taste the hunger that would bite into her and spit out rubies, a voice murmuring, “Debbie,” and meaning it.

Lucy winced and a blue light popped off under her sheets. 

“I didn’t know clit lights came in blue!” Debbie was surprised.

“Yeah,” Lucy groaned.  “They’re fucking sexy.”

“Mine’s pink.”

“Pink’s cute.  That’s what my mom has

City of Angels by Sean Pravica

John didn’t believe in God.  Anyone he met who still believed he thought was afraid.  Their guilt, their troubles, their insecurities all were eating them alive, he said.  No one would pretend their thoughts were someone else’s if they didn’t feel deeply, overwhelmingly, alone.

Coming from St. Louis, Los Angles was very new, and very unusual. Old apartments were still very expensive.  And then a few streets over people warned him not to walk there.

He wanted California life.  Here, people seemed strikingly godless.  They did in the City of Angels, anyway.

Walking through downtown Hollywood one night with its neon orgies and cars steadily crowding Sunset, he watched people from all countries pay only partial attention to each other, everyone’s eyes busy as though searching for whomever it was they actually wanted to meet. Though one man’s eyes sat still, and pierced John’s.

“He knew that I knew,” he recalled.

The man had been sitting with his head tucked between his knees, his back against a bar with low lights barely illuminating its name in silver letters.  He looked up the same time John looked over.  His eyes were yellow, like they belonged to a small animal.

John said the man was possessed.  Not everyone can tell these things, he explained, but it was clear to him.

Asked about God then, and what that meant, he still said he didn’t believe.

“So what do you believe?  In demons?” I asked him.

“Partially.”

“What’s the other part?”

“You.”

He finished packing his suitcase, and got ready to say goodbye to California.

“You really think it’s so bad out here?” I asked one last time.

“It is so bad out here.”

“Why?”

“Because I believe it is,” he smiled. 

Maybe not everyone could tell, but it was an angel’s smile.