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My Totally Aweome Funeral: A Response
Curtis Smith

The Decathlon: The Course
Jessica Hollander

Ambient Plumbing (a prequel)
J. Ryan Stradal

Anne Elliott

Belleville, IL: Liner Notes
Chris Orlet

Lane 12: Behind the Story
Shellie Zacharia

Fireworks: Audio Commentary
J. Chris Rock

Pregnant: Sketches
Catherine Zeidler

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J. Chris Rock lives in one of the many Springfields sprinkled across the United States. His writing has recently appeared in Barrelhouse, The Science Creative Quarterly, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

The Lenny Flag Scene, Audio Commentary


LENNY: Right, hello world, this is Lenny. I play the twelve-inch-tall Lenny Kravitz cardboard cutout in this final scene of “Fireworks” that we’re seeing now.

YOU: And this is, well…you. No other way to put it, is there? I’m you. You are listening to yourself. And I hope this audio commentary is enlightening to you…I mean, us.

LENNY: Nice one. POV humor. Love it.


YOU: Big scene here. Everything coming together. Guys across the street shooting fireworks at us, we’re up on the roof, occasionally firing back but mostly…

LENNY: Mostly busy being fucked up, watching the righteous light show.

YOU: Right.

LENNY: Look at you and the guys up there. I remember that roof was steep as a motherfucker. I mean, I was ok. Standing on the chimney was easier than what you were…oh yeah, look at that…

YOU: Nice.

LENNY: That’s me. The Lenny Flag, flying high.

YOU: You look great.

LENNY: This is one of my favorite bits we’re seeing here. The bottle rocket comes in from across the street and…zing…love how it skips off the front of the roof, straight into the sky and pow.

YOU: And there we are, lying on the roof. We actually did this scene in the daytime for safety reasons, then made it look like night in post. I have no idea how they made the fireworks work with that, but…

LENNY: Look at your pupils, dude. You were tripping like mad.

YOU: Yeah, we were feeling it. J was a stickler for verisimilitude. Total methodboy. So we actually all did in fact drop acid for this scene.

LENNY: Including me.

YOU: Yeah, but you insisted. The script didn’t say anything about how fucked up the cardboard cutout of Lenny Kravitz was.

LENNY: Felt right for my character.

YOU: Anyway, a lot of insurance paperwork with this scene. Yes, I/you agree to assume full responsibility for dropping acid and climbing onto a roof. Yes, I/you understand that the use of fireworks on a roof and/or jumping off a substantial hill while under the influence of hallucinogens is inherently dangerous and is thereby my/your own damn decision. No, I/you won’t sue the author if anything untoward happens, ever ever ever, blah blah blah.

LENNY: But then that was the point, wasn’t it?

YOU: Absolutely.

LENNY: Recreational danger. Remember? J used to walk around saying that all the time.

YOU: If we had any questions about motivation or our character or anything, J would just mutter, “Recreational danger,” then disappear into his trailer with some high-fiber cereal.

LENNY: Big moment, here.


BOTH: Oohhh!

YOU: Dude. I can’t believe you didn’t let somebody else do that stunt fall.

LENNY: I’m twelve inches tall. They don’t make stunt doubles for me. I still have the bruises from that bit.

YOU: I mean, there were those big gymnastics pads on the ground and everything. Still. You tumbled like hell down that roof.

LENNY: And I took a big-ass rocket right in the hip. If you rewind and read it again, real slow like, you’ll see some real fucking pain on my face. That’s not acting, babe. That fucking rocket fucking hurt.

YOU: Recreational danger.

LENNY: Fucking right about that.