Jeff Phillips: The Gospel According to Puke

Drinkers with Writing Problems

Luke’s parents had spread a 10’ x 10’ area rug in the corner of their unfinished basement, alongside red plastic shelving for trucks and dinosaurs to establish a playroom for him and his younger brother Reed. This was where they played Atari on an old TV and used cardboard boxes to make cities for their action figures. When he was 7 years old, Luke’s neighborhood playmate Tommy pointed out a crack in the cement near the furnace.

“Cracks like that are made by the devil. He’s trying to scratch his way to the surface.”

Luke tried to dismiss this, but it didn’t sit well with him despite how many times he said “nuh-uh.” It’s true he didn’t quite feel comfortable down there by himself at night to begin with. And recently the Atari seemed to be on the fritz. The screen would slip into static and it sounded like someone…

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