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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

Xenia Sylvia Dylag is a Polish-American writer, translator, and teacher from Chicago. She received her MA from Jagiellonian University and MFA from the Mississippi University for Women. She is the co-creator of Bridging the Balkans, a zine about Serbian culture. Her flash fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Mortar Magazine, The Molotov Cocktail, Coffin Bell, and iō Literary Journal. She's currently hiding out in Southern Texas. When she drinks pop, she likes a blend of Cherry Coke and Dr. Pepper. You can find her on Instagram @xeniasylvia.

Vibran pink clouds purple sky with neon rectangle frame



          The Godzilla Dust Circus arrived spitting sand on people.

          The believers went outside wearing protective gear and they held out empty buckets.

          The non-believers felt the sand burning their skin like a million tiny needles. Their false truths shattered and melted into the ground.

          Right before the arrival of the Godzilla Dust Circus, social media raged with posts: AFTER 50 YEARS, MAGIKAL GODZILLA DUST CIRCUS WILL FLOOD THE SKIES. BE PREPARED!


          The President Tweeted: FAKE NEWS! Phony Godzilla Dust Circus. THE WORST LIE EVER. Just spoke to the BEST historian. NO SUCH THING!

          Scientists claimed the circus was a group of aliens that travelled with the wind swirling in sand gathered from ancient stardust. Scientists warned to wear thick clothes and to protect the eyes – especially if we wanted to glimpse the creatures somersaulting on a tightrope across the sky.

          Not everyone believed the scientists though.

          My grandfather remembered the last time the Godzilla Dust Circus appeared in the sky. He told me he wore an army helmet, a tattered ski suit, a pair of old safety goggles, and one of his mother’s old wool scarves around his face. Even with the wool scarf, he said, the sand was so thick it made its way between his teeth.

          My grandfather didn’t know it at that time, but he said a grain of sand was worth more than gold. He wished he knew better—he would have saved the sand between his teeth.


          When the Godzilla Dust Circus finally arrived, the sky crackled and exploded like popcorn popping. They sang in tune with the song of the cicadas – a divine song of angels. They illuminated the sky with shimmering and sparkling neon clouds – the light of a million galaxies.

          I saw it all through my foggy swim goggles, and as the sand came down, I watched it fill my empty cup.

Header image by blazhulia

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