“SIDEWALK PENTAGRAMS” by JAMES NULICK

We only leave the house late at night and wear hoodies when we do go out so none of our neighbors will notice as our numbers diminish.* The house I live in is small and dark, a four bedroom ranch, desert cookie cutter, windows aluminum foiled against the heat. A small yard with a few anonymous plants and two saguaros watered by a drip system I never see, and dying twin palms on either side of the cracked, oil stained driveway. All the windows are dark except the slivered window near the door, illuminated by a small orange light glowing through the curtains. I’m on my Free Agent Chronik, a smooth three hundred dollar ride in matte black. I follow behind Mouse, Peanut and Baby J as we push ourselves through the dark abandoned streets. The asphalt is singing under my tires, a constant low hum that reminds me of an air conditioner. Mouse pivots his butt and kicks his rear tire out and to the right, splashing gutter water on a car sitting in someone’s drive. He’s in front so he’s directing traffic. The houses on the block are all dark, save for a few frightened porch lights. I hover above the seat and work my legs, two pistons whirring above the crank as we roll toward the unknown. We cross the street, cut through a break in the median, headed for a convenience store on 23rd Avenue, on asphalt, crossing sidewalks, passing under streetlights, gliding along the smooth concrete slab, propping our bikes against the glass wall of the store, our wheels silent as Mouse opens the door on a startled clerk. Continue reading

“My Name is Luka” by James Nulick

I visited Luka Magnotta in prison. He was incarcerated at the Rivière-des-Prairies Detention Centre in Montreal. Are you a Canadian citizen? No. Are you a reporter? No. Are you American? Yes. What business do you have with Eric Newman? I’m a writer and a technologist, I advised the warden via email. I’m compiling material for a nonfiction work about Magnotta and Mark Twitchell. Ah, yes. Canada’s finest. You Americans really like to stir the pot, as they say? I’m not a reporter, sir. I’m writing a book about the events. I have no interest in portraying your country in a negative fashion. You know our procedures? Warden Tremblay asked. I read them online, I replied via email. You have a passport and cleared bloodprints? I do. I will email you soon. I will wait, I said. Thank you, I said. I did not hear from the warden for three months. Continue reading