Big Fiction No. 1


Big Fiction No. 1, Work by Kevin Hyde, Mike Meginnis, Yuriy Tarnawsky, and Vincent Reusch.
Release Date: Summer/Fall 2011

Work by Kevin Hyde, Mike Meginnis, Yuriy Tarnawsky, and Vincent Reusch.

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"The Djinn of the Burj"
by Kevin Hyde

Hamza turned in his chair to find the Burj in the skyline. It cast its shadow at sunrise, some said, for two miles, to Jumeirah Beach, into the Gulf. “Motherfucker,” Hamza said, staring at the tower. “What’s it like up there?” he asked the crane operator.

“Thin air. Hard winds. I see strange things. You know in an airplane when you see people and cars below and they’re all ants and beetles working? Doing antwork and beetlework? That’s what it’s like for me, all day. Being higher,” he said, “I think differently. My thoughts come faster. It’s like a sandstorm blows through my head and fills it with grit. Grains of thought that stick.”

“Like what?” Hamza asked.

“I see more of Dubai than any other man. I am its top man. And I am building that building, and no one will know it when they live there. A painting has a plaque, and a sculpture has a sign, but that building—no tenant will know
their home’s walls and floors are my handiwork. That is its own crime, in my thoughts. The Burj ought to bear my name, even if written small, somewhere.” The crane operator tapped the table with his fingertips, as if he were playing the keys of a piano. “And I have seen a djinn.”

Kevin Hyde's fiction has appeared in Burnt Bridge and The Drama, and online at McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He lives in Pennsylvania, where he is working on a novel about soccer and translation.

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