This story is one of my favorites I’ve published so far, and I’m honored to have it in the awesome Apex Magazine, which has published many of my literary heroes.
You can read “Twilight of the Eco-Terrorist” on Apex Magazine’s website. Here’s how it starts:
The first time I vaporized a car, it was because I was in love.
I was seventeen, and Lawrence had eyes like chips of black glass. We’d parked behind the donut shop, between two trash bins that blocked my car’s windows. I was on top of him when it happened, marveling at the way bones made a bas-relief map of his skin, willing every cell in my body to touch every cell in his. I bent down to kiss his lips but they weren’t there. The air was in confusion; my body sank into his as if he had become honey, and then steam.
We had trained ourselves in the silence of covert intimacy so thoroughly that I kept myself from screaming by reflex as Lawrence sublimated into thick vapor, our connection torn into its constituent molecules. And it didn’t stop there. I was so deep in concentration that I kept sinking through solids gone muddy, the old Chevy station wagon vaporizing around my body, hood and windows curling into steam. I disintegrated my way through a layer of reeking blacktop before I came to a stop, hands and knees planted in the stabilizing dirt. A melted blob of tar oozed down my bare back. When I stood, it was at ground zero of a car bomb explosion: a hole bitten into the ground, surrounded by a few distorted engine parts.
I walked home naked along one of those smog-shrouded highways that cut through even the most remote towns in Southern California. Every time I stumbled into the light-puddles of street lamps, I wondered if the police would catch me. But the early-morning streets were deserted. In the morning, I told my father that I’d totaled the car and didn’t want to talk about it. Lawrence’s picture was in the paper: Local Boy Missing. Nobody even questioned me. Why would they? Our relationship was a secret. Lawrence was terrified that people would discover us stretched out half-naked on the Chevy’s carpet-covered cargo volume. We lived in a traditional-values town, and his family was churchy.
A prejudice that had once seemed like superstition at that moment mutated in my mind, becoming something truthful and portentous.
Read the rest via Apex Magazine.