The Eric Dolphy Marching Band

by Shawn Misener

      My wife storms into the kitchen with a pink mako shark slung over her shoulder, barking "Dinner!" towards me as I sit on the counter swishing my middle finger through a bowl of sand.

      Outside of the screen door a marching band of fifteen Eric Dolphy clones hops down the street in unison, passing their black saxophones back and forth like hot potatoes.

      She slams the shark down onto the kitchen island like she's hammering a railroad stake. A cloud of pink gas squirts from its gills in the key of E.

      "Is it dead?" I ask, finding a small decoder ring in the sand.

      "Of course it is," my wife huffs. "Do you think I'd be able to drag a live shark all the way up the hill?"

      "I'm just amazed that you can carry it at all."

      She ignores me and unsheathes an impossibly long machete from her pocket. I try not to gag as she expertly goes about disemboweling the slimy creature. Hot guts pile up around her skinny bare ankles.

      "I'll save a tooth for you, like always," she remarks, licking blood off the tip of the blade. The Eric Dolphy Marching Band retreats backwards, retracing their steps up the street.