florida gothic


  • the lovebugs are everywhere, covering the road in drifts. you have to shovel them out of your driveway. one of them lands on your arm and you stare in fascinated horror as it burrows into your skin
  • you buy a bag of oranges from the local grove, from a man who never stops smiling. theyre blood oranges, he tells you. you peel one and viscera spills out onto the grass
  • youre driving on i-4 at 1 pm on a saturday. its getting dark. you havent seen another car for miles but something is moving in your headlights, something large and pale with many, many legs
  • all the tourists are the same person. the same sunburnt elderly man with socks and sandals, repeated a million times. he tells you his name but you cant remember it
  • theres a red tide, but you go to the beach anyway. dead fish cover the shore by the thousands. in the distance something is rising out of the ocean, but your eyes are stinging too much to focus. you think they might be bleeding
  • its mid-january. the thermometer says 103. sweat drips down the back of your legs and your bare feet burn on the sidewalk. somehow it’s still cold enough to see your breath
  • shine a flashlight over the lake at night and you can see eyes glowing in the darkness. thousands of alligators, and theyre all staring directly at you
  • you look out the window and the sky is bright blue, painfully bright. you look out a different window and its pitch black. the rain comes down in sheets. you dont know which one is real and youre afraid to open the door
  • theres a sub at the publix deli called “flesh”. when you ask whats in it, the lady behind the counter just laughs. you can see all of her teeth

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