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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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The Experiment


by Stefanie Freele

 

Because of her history - she always thought she was the type to go into the deep if she took LSD - she volunteers to be The Control, the person who will make sure no one jumps off a building, pulls out their eyebrows, or sleeps with the ugliest guy in the dorm.

Upon onset, Charlotte and Anita, Specimen One and Two, develop A Scientific Theory: The trip will be best in the snow where ice glimmers and flakes sparkle.

Specimen One wants to sled, even though there aren’t any hills to speak of within walking distance, the temperature rests just below zero, and they have no equipment. Nevertheless, they bundle, The Control making sure the specimens zip and scarf.

Specimen One and Two, giggling, wobbling, and making fish noises with their lips.

Two refusing to take the elevator so they run down the stairs.

One “sledding” down the banisters.

Two announcing "Ho ho step step ho ho step step." until they get to the bottom and plunge out the double doors into the frosty night.

The Control scanning the snow for something to make her laugh too.

 

 

 

 

Defective In Either Affect of Volition

 

by Stefanie Freele

 

In her garage she has signs of people she voted for but didn’t win. Shapiro for judge, Edwards for Councilman, Donatelli for Pres. He sits in the corner, the only place to sit, on a scratched-up barstool, next to the old knocky water heater.

“This is what he told me. Do you know that approximately one percent of the population are psychopaths?” She steps on her tire and clomps onto the hood. “And you know two of them,” she says, while stretching with twine to hang up Vote for Brunsler!

“They have no empathy, they can’t keep jobs, they are superior.”

“They’re moral imbeciles.” She jumps down onto the rug, startling one of the fourteen or so cats. “Let’s get the kayaks and go under the bridge tonight. Almost a full moon.”

He counts the bumper stickers on the back of her hatchback. “Seventeen.”

“I have more.” She digs through one of the bags hanging on the door. "Impulsivity, need for stimulation, promiscuous behavior. He verified all their behavior.”

She spreads a sticker Stop Monsanto Evil – vote Prop 210 on the rear view window of her car. “Either you're going with me tonight, or I call Henry.” She gives him the bad-mannered grin, the grin that says, you better go with me, or you may never know what you missed.

“You wouldn’t.”

She undoes one shirt button. “Cunning. Manipulative.”

“Irresponsible,” he says, and reaches for the paddles.