Ready for Pickup
Jessie Ligocki

Is it a human or a car? Is it a bird? A plane? A building, maybe even a landmark? Maybe it's a park, home to laughing children, scrapes, broken bones, tetanus. Or a parking lot for the angst-ridden teens. It could be a cemetery or a home where the heart is, where words are unheard and actions unnoticed. Is it an animal, a carnivorous monster? Something so terrifying it could send you into cardiac arrest without hesitation. Maybe it's responsibility, that heart-stopping anxiety that follows an incessant to-do list. Fear? Snakes, spiders, needles, oh my. Or something even worse. A grieving loss, failure, painful death, burning hell. Maybe it's just imagination turning your surroundings into everything that horrifies you. "It's just the wind," you say. "My mind's playing tricks on me," you say. Your sorry attempts at reassurance and comfort won't help you here. Whatever it is, a plane, a home, or even your backyard. It can be your biggest nightmare.