Speed Trap

by Hobie Anthony

Newborn silverfish swarm. Crusty-dry worm bodies move as a mass over the carpet. They spawn under the sofa and every two weeks or so a new generation moves out over the room. I will sweep them up, but they always come back. For now, I watch their aimless migration.

I hear thumping and moaning through the ceiling. New girls in the house, naked and on their knees. Fresh meat, the men say. Always women coming and going. I have to clean up after them, too. I watch how each one arrives, fleshy, eyes aware. After a few months each leaves hollow-eyed, black teeth, withered breasts. We have the best shit in town. Maybe the best in the world. I don’t know. I don’t touch it. I’m the caretaker here. I only deliver it and keep secrets for the drug makers.

The moans become screams. The insects pour out on the floor. A rat scrambles in the wall, scurrying for a home or food. His desperation increases. Soon I will smell his corpse and kill death-flies and he will decompose in the dark.


Hobie Anthony writes prose and poetry in Portland, Oregon. A native of the South, adopted son of Chicago, and new NorthWesterner, he seeks to understand this America. He can be found or is forthcoming in such journals as The Los Angeles Review, Crate, Jersey Devil Press, R.kv.r.y., PANK, Prime Number, and Soundzine, among others, and is now focused on putting together a new book.
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