Just outside of Chinatown, the stylist holds my hair in his hands and calls to his assistant. “Help me!” She runs over and sticks her fingers into the dye-free floppy strands. “It’s hard to hold!” he exclaims. “It’s so healthy!” she nods. “It is sooo healthy!” he returns. “We never see hair this healthy,” the assistant speaks into the now-falling tresses…

Flaming fiddles, it looks like there’s a roadblock here! If you’d like to finish reading this piece, please buy a subscription—you’ll get access to the entire online archive of F(r)iction.

KRISTINE ESSER SLENTZ is a Maltese descendent, queer, cult escapee, and author of woman, depose (FlowerSong Press 2021, 2024). She grew up in both northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area—what her father calls the ‘bottom of the blue-collar.’ After receiving her GED, she completed her undergraduate degree at Purdue University, double-majoring in English Literature and Creative Writing, before earning a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (poetry) from City College of New York (CCNY). KRISTINE is a Pushcart Prize nominee, finalist in the Glass Poetry Chapbook and F(r)iction’s Flash Fiction Contests, recipient of a CCNY English Department Teacher-Writer Award, a City Artist Corps Grant, and former Rifkind Fellow and Poets Afloat resident. She is the co-founder and organizer/host of the monthly experimental artist series, Adverse Abstraction, in New York City’s East Village. You can follow KRISTINE’s art on her substack, Carnations & Car Crashes.

Shuhan Yang

Born and raised in Hunan, China, Shuhan has always been obsessed with the creative world of comics, literature, and video games. She didn’t have much growing up but making art was everything, which led to her pursuing a career in the creative design field. She lives in Savannah, GA, with her partner and takes care of two lovely cats they adopted.

First Featured In: No. 21, spring 2024

The Unseen Issue

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