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Autumn

The original chicking video has twelve million loops before Autumn gets Kam to do it with her.

“No,” says Kam, congenitally incapable of fun. “Birds don’t have anal sphincters.”

Why would you stick anything in its anal sphincter,” says Autumn. The yellow puffballs in her hands cheep at each other.

“They just poop!” says Kam. “At random! And you want me to hold it in my mouth!”

Autumn gets what she wants, as always. Head craned back, tiny feet against her teeth, tongue on trembling down, Kam decides this feels weird because she’s usually on the other side of the metaphor.

Kam

After Autumn repeats for the millionth time that “everybody’s doing it,” Kam gives in and decides to try.

She drinks orange juice at breakfast and apple juice at snack. She hits the water fountain, too, and by lunchtime her juicebox is less than appetizing. She gets in trouble for foot-tapping in class.

She persists, though, and after a tortuous bus ride she sprints into her home bathroom and finally, finally lets herself go. The sensation is astounding. Kam groans with relief; there are goosebumps on her arms. Maybe everybody really is doing it, she thinks, if it always feels this good.

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