jd hager

Dino Eggs for Sale

brontocopy

Check out my latest published story in the January issue of Jersey Devil Press.

Brontosaurus, by J.D. Hager

“Jacob found purpose in those eggs. He took them to his sandbox and buried them with exaggerated care. He constructed a small protective structure out of twigs and acorns, and guarded and doted over them like he himself had laid them.”

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Brantley

Youth had proven very traumatic for Brantley, as it does for most turtles. He had been born in steaming muck beneath a rotting log, hatching from a leathery egg synchronously with thirty-three of his siblings, all of them clambering over one another toward freedom like a riotous mob. He had a sense of direction, some instinctual behavioral tract that kept Brantley moving, scuttling against thirty-three other muddy little turtles. Emerging from beneath the log, Brantley had been greeted by two hungry raccoons scooping the baby turtles up like treasure. They were brutally efficient, missing hardly a turtle, picking the tiny squabbling pucks up in their inquisitive fingers, lifting them to their mouths, cracking open their still fragile shells in their molars, folding them open with both hands and slurping out the insides like oysters on the half shell. One had reached for Brantley, brushing its claws on the back of his shell before instead grabbing another young turtle as it came from behind and tried to scramble over him. Something drew him away, something kept his tiny legs scrabbling like a wind up toy and pulled him to the water as if a guideline had been tied around his neck.

Brantley escaped somehow, but remained forever traumatized by the experience. For years he had nightmares of raccoons cracking him open like a wiggling nut, slurping out his insides and throwing his empty shell to the deer flies. Brantley hardly slept for three years. Most turtles that live to be three years old don’t sleep at all. No time for sleep in the food chain.

Brantley spent the majority of his youth hiding beneath logs, the best place for a young turtle to be. Brantley was quite good at hiding. Exceptional, even for a turtle.

Florida Box Turtle (by “Jonathan Zander (Digon3)” on Wikimedia Commons)

Posted for the DP Weekly Writing Challenge: Flash Fiction

Memories

All I remember is spinning donuts in the Carl’s Junior parking lot and barfing out the window at 90 miles an hour. All that’s left now is the sour taste of Jack Daniels and bile and a Carl’s Classic. My shoes and socks are missing in action. It feels like my brain is trying to jail break my head with explosives.

I wake up in the drunk tank with a guy named Hank, an addict with needle marks and tattoos on his neck. He keeps looking at me like I might be made of smack. The metal bench and concrete floor feel refrigerated.

Distant boots echo against every hard surface.

Drive so fast (by Just a Prairie Boy)

Brantley

Youth had proven very traumatic for Brantley, as it does for most turtles. He had been born in steaming muck beneath a rotting log, hatching from a leathery egg synchronously with thirty-three of his siblings, all of them clambering over one another toward freedom like a riotous mob. He had a sense of direction, some instinctual behavioral tract that kept Brantley moving, scuttling against thirty-three other muddy little turtles. Emerging from beneath the log, Brantley had been greeted by two hungry raccoons scooping the baby turtles up like treasure. They were brutally efficient, missing hardly a turtle, picking the tiny squabbling pucks up in their inquisitive fingers, lifting them to their mouths, cracking open their still fragile shells in their molars, folding them open with both hands and slurping out the insides like oysters on the half shell. One had reached for Brantley, brushing its claws on the back of his shell before instead grabbing another young turtle as it came from behind and tried to scramble over him. Something drew him away, something kept his tiny legs scrabbling like a wind up toy and pulled him to the water as if a guideline had been tied around his neck.

Brantley escaped somehow, but remained forever traumatized by the experience. For years he had nightmares of raccoons cracking him open like a wiggling nut, slurping out his insides and throwing his empty shell to the deer flies. Brantley hardly slept for three years. Most turtles that live to be three years old don’t sleep at all. No time for sleep in the food chain.

Brantley spent the majority of his youth hiding beneath logs. It was the best place for a young turtle to be. Brantley was quite good at hiding. Exceptional, even for a turtle.