Jason Jordan

I'm in the graveyard, at my mother's grave, when I see my brother approaching from the entrance. He's probably taking the shortcut through the graveyard back to the house that we share. I haven't seen him in a couple days since he works third shift and I work second—today's my day off—but he looks the same as always: short greasy black hair, glasses, some pimples here and there, a plain black T-shirt covered with white hair from our Jack Russell Terrier named Nietzsche, baggy jeans with a couple stains, and a pair of old muddied sneakers. The dog's a purebred, but I call him a mutt anyway.

Today my brother's carrying a small white plastic bag from Frank's Gifts, so I know he just wasted a bunch of money. Frank's makes their money by selling anything that is racy and shocking.

—Tell me you didn't just spend your whole paycheck on a bunch of crap from Frank's, I say when he gets within earshot.

—Yeah. I got some great stuff, though.

He sets the bag on the ground when he gets close to me. I can see that it's full. He pulls out the first T-shirt, which is white with black letters. It reads:


—Dumb, I say.

—No wait. It gets better.

He lets the T-shirt fall to the ground, which is still soggy from last night's rain, and pulls another one out of the bag. It's also white with black letters. It reads:

got rape?

—That one's dumb, too.

—I got one more. Look.

Hi, I'll be your rapist
this evening. Can I
get you something to

—Those are all stupid. How much did you pay for 'em?

—I spent fifty bucks. It's worth it, though.

—That's a third of your check. We've got bills, you know. And where are you gonna wear those things?


—What? Since when do you go to church? Besides, they'll kick you out.

—That's the experiment. It's a social experiment.

—What do you mean?

—I'm gonna go to a different church for the next three Sunday mornings—the last service, the most crowded—and see if they kick me out because I'm wearing one of these shirts. And if they try, I'll tell them that I haven't put money in the collection plate yet and see what they do then.

—They'll take your money and then kick you out.

He shrugs.

—It'll be worth it just for the looks.

—But you'll have to get up early.

—Yeah. Well, I'm gonna head home. See you later.

He bends down and stuffs all the shirts back into the bag before trudging off toward the house. I stare at mother's gravestone, which has some bird shit on it. I regret that I don't have anything to clean it with, though I'd have to kneel down if I did, and I don't want to get my slacks dirty. I look at the headstone and remind myself to bring some flowers next time.

Jason Jordan's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in THE 2NDHAND, Hobart, Keyhole, Monkeybicycle, Dogzplot, Pindeldyboz, Storyglossia, Word Riot, and others. He edits decomP.

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Photo detail on main page courtesy of lonelysandwich.

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