I once had a melancholic wife who kept dreaming of fur.
With the nest egg of our combined pensions, we retired
to a cozy house by the sea. At first, it was only a few
lemmings which appeared on our back porch,
always squirming away from our flash lights.
Then that number multiplied exponentially and our house,
our neighborhood, was completely surrounded by them.
They camped at our doorstep and demanded to be paid taxes
in the form of sedges and grinded parts of our bones. They took
over the police department and took joy rides in fire trucks.
They issued new ordinances that we were allowed to walk
on only one side of the street. Whenever I left the house,
a few would cling to my ankles. They would mock me,
repeating the words I said to my wife during lovemaking.
They chewed telephone wires and hacked our computers.
They shut off our water supply and caused gas leaks.
Some citizens took to setting their houses on fire;
others tried to drown themselves.
Eventually my wife ran off with a Troubadour lemming,
the kind with a Flemish snout, who could win hearts and
shoots by playing some mean riffs on a lute. In a long good-bye letter,
she explained to me that she had fallen in love and felt young again.
It seemed the little bastard could imitate my best singing voice.
Her body, chewed-up, was found at the edge of what used to be a forest.
At least there was smile on her face. But I haven’t given up hope.
I won’t resort to shooting them or myself.
I still have a good view of the sea.
KYLE HEMMINGS lives and works in New Jersey, where he skateboards and usually crashes. His work has been featured in Literary Tonic, Lacuna Journal, Five Fishes, Calliope, Nerve, Calloused Hands, and others.