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a certificate that reads "daddy's merciless little god"

Deon Robinson

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You like science? That’s good, maybe you could become one of those scientists who make atomic bombs, they make a lot of money. My father’s phone buzzes and from the space between his fingers, the face of his now-wife. Upon realizing this, he sucks his teeth and shelters his phone back into his pocket, Science makes a lot of money, son.



I imagine an alternate universe where children aspire to grow into the


shoes of nuclear chemists. In this world, atomic bombs are school projects for the science fair. Slackers bring their baking soda volcanoes to watch them erupt with mediocrity, but the gifted, the children of separated parents, bring their only known superpower to the table. They think of their parents only to divorce their left and right hand out of what can only be habit, left with an ambidextrous prayer so powerful their fathers can only grin ear-to-ear like boomerangs. The room is beside itself, radiating joy in being part of this new form of usefulness. First-place trophy is a golden goose egg cracking into a mushroom cloud. The metal is so slick it almost looks like it's sweating. The judges place the children’s hands in the Hall of Fame. The economy begins to boom, the demand for broken children increases astronomically. After all, they only wanted the attention for something so simple.

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