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Star Man
by Bill Cook

art by Ben Cook
art by Ben Cook
He's the Uncle Joe who stays up all night downing Monster Energy drinks in his garage with the door open all the way, shredding on Guitar Hero III.

"He's eighty-two and I hope that I am just like him when I get old," I tell Joshua. He says Uncle Joe's family left him like a thousand years ago.

"Do you want to be all alone when you're his age?"

Joshua takes my Big Gulp and downs it.

"Maybe he left some Monsters for us."

I say this like Joshua just doesn't get it. Joshua smashes my Big Gulp cup and shoots two at the trashcan.

"He let me try on his army uniform one time."

Joshua's lips glow Fruit Punch red.

"You look like Dracula," I tell him.

We stare at Uncle Joe's house. The lights are all out. I point at a fading yellow star way past our street.

"He said that he came from out there."

All content in SmokeLong Quarterly copyright 2003-2014 by its authors.



Bill Cook lives in a semi-rural area in Southern California’s High Desert, and has stories published in Juked, elimae, Thieves Jargon, VerbSap, Tin Postcard Review, Right Hand Pointing and The Summerset Review.

Read the interview.

Ben Cook lives in California's rural high desert ten months out of the year and the rest preparing the world for Burning Man. He photographs everything in sight, plus things rarely caught by the naked eye. He created this artwork specifically for this story.
Issue Twenty-Four (March 18, 2009): Barista by Sarah Black «» Night Vision by Edmond Caldwell «» Star Man by Bill Cook «» Bluegills by Thomas Cooper «» Seattle Gymnopédie by Scott Garson «» One Night at Crobar by Shane Goth «» Scrapple by Tiff Holland «» What If The Dungeon Closes by Tim Jones-Yelvington «» Toes by Darby Larson «» The Hamster by Tara Laskowski «» Dirtclouds by Charles Lennox «» Moat by Ravi Mangla «» A Witnessing at the K&W Cafeteria by Heather McDonald «» Roots by Jen Michalski «» I Use Commas like Ninja Stars by Sam Nam «» Turtle Creek by Gregory Napp «» Prey by Susannah Pabot «» By Saturday, We'd Be Singing by John Riley «» At the Foot of the Mountain by Ania Vesenny «» Interviews: Sarah Black «» Edmond Caldwell «» Bill Cook «» Thomas Cooper «» Scott Garson «» Shane Goth «» Tiff Holland «» Tim Jones-Yelvington «» Darby Larson «» Tara Laskowski «» Charles Lennox «» Ravi Mangla «» Heather McDonald «» Jen Michalski «» Sam Nam «» Gregory Napp «» Susannah Pabot «» John Riley «» Ania Vesenny «» Cover Art "No. 41 - 2007" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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