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June 17, 2022

A Real* Conversation between Imaginary** Friends

Jessica Coles

[Friday – 7:47 a.m.]

J: Everything that’s happened so far today has me wondering which marketplace crone I insulted several months ago. Because these kinds of hexes reek of delayed retribution.


A: That’s a distinct possibility. 


J: I’m serious. Under the nonsense is a strong feeling that I’m being pranked by a supernatural being. Like it has just been a trickster morning.


A: It wasn’t me. I don’t know who the current trickster gods reigning o'er Alberta are. But I’ll look into it…


J: Oh, I didn't think it was you. But thanks!



[11:33 a.m]

J: I'm on my own for lunch today. It feels like a good day to pick up food and eat it in a park somewhere.


[12:58 p.m.]

J: Today was the worst day to pick up food and eat it in a park. There was a fucktonne of traffic between my place and the cafe. When I got there, a belligerent racist drunk was harassing a delivery driver. My takeout food took a full 20 minutes to prepare. Then! I got to the park, got myself set up at a picnic table. My stomach was having an outright hissy fit at this point. I only unwrapped the foil on the top portion of my coconut chicken wrap—you know, to contain the mess. On my second bite, I went to dip the wrap into the tasty sauce that came with the wrap and half the wrap fell out of the foil and onto the sauce cup because I hadn't realized that the fucking thing was cut in half.


J: The sauce, incidentally, spilled onto the napkins that were intended to wipe my fingers. And I've spent months saying I should get some wet wipes to have in my car "just in case" but have I ever fucking picked up wipes?? NOPE!


J: Now the plan was to sit here for an hour and read a book—because, surely, nothing can go wrong sitting at a picnic table reading a book—but on a day like today, that's the kind of thinking that finds you on the 30 minute drive home unintentionally sporting a hat constructed of pure sparrow shit.


[1:07 p.m.]

A: Soooo…


A: …yeah, you got yourself a trickster.


J: Any advice on getting rid of a trickster?


A: Have you applied for your Tricksters Union card yet?


J: You know they deliberately don't tell you to do that. And even if they did, it's not like the application process is transparent.


J: In fact, I don't think there's any way to know if the Tricksters are unionized or if they're just conning you out of the dues.


A: Fun fact: the Tricksters Union is actually run by a lawful good dryad. So you can trust her administration, as long as correspondence comes directly from her, bearing her seal in red moss. Once you’ve got that card, any adjacent Trickster will back off, lest they incur the wrath of Yfenstra.


J: What's the typical turnaround on the application?


A: 2-3 fortmoons. But you can expedite the process by sprinkling your application in faun urine.


J: So…


J: I guess that means I'm still fucked for today.


A: Oh, profoundly.


A: Best to just drink through it and hope your bartender is exempt on account of being a sexy robot.



* This text conversation actually happened and is copied with permission.

** Neither of us is willing to confirm, irrefutably, that the other exists.

Jessica Coles (she/her) is a poet from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Treaty 6 territory), where she lives with her family and a judgmental tuxedo cat named Miss Bennet. Her work has appeared in Prairie Fire, Moist Poetry Journal, Crow Name, Capsule Stories, and You are a Flower Growing off the Side of a Cliff. Her chapbook, unless you’re willing to evaporate, is available through Prairie Vixen Press. 

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