So I didn’t start out with ducks. It’s not like that. It was when S left for Chicago for her year-long internship. I was so in love, and I convinced myself doing it to anybody else would somehow taint my feelings for her, so I made a rule I could only do it to her. Masturbate, I mean. She never gave me pictures of that sort or anything because we weren’t that kind of a couple. You understand. She did, however, have a surfeit of Facebook photos. That’s what I came to rely on. She had 735 photos, about 300 of which had been taken in the last couple years. Felt weird jacking off to anything older than that. Like pictures of her when she was a kid. Very creepy. So I had about 300 photos to work with. And they lasted me quite a while — about five months. But eventually they got old, and she was so busy with her internship and such that we hardly talked. And she rarely posted new photos of herself. Hardly ever. So one day I was doing the deed and looking out my window at the park, and there wasn’t much going on. It was raining a little, like usual. There was a clown selling balloon animals. Yeah, in the rain. And I was working it and working it, and right when I was about to come, my eyes just happened to fall upon a brace of ducks — that’s the correct term: a “brace.” There were about six or seven of them. And something about their little feet waddling, their little tails plip-plopping back and forth just made me . . . happy. Then I came and it was great. Now those ducks were almost always out there — maybe not the same ones, but some always were — and that day felt so good that the next day I waited until I had an ideal vantage point of another brace and then I masturbated. Didn’t even need any photos of her or anything. And it was just as good the second time. Their silky, sleek feathers and innocent little eyes . . . intoxicating. I wasn’t doing it to the ducks; it was more at them. Though I suppose that sounds just as strange. But that’s how I survived the year of her absence. Fapping at the ducks. It was when she returned home that I started having problems. I couldn’t come with her. It’s like without the reassuring presence of my ducks, doing it just didn’t feel right. I tried to fix it. I put up pictures of mallard ducks around my desk and on the ceiling, so no matter what position we were in I could see them. It worked, but just barely. It was never the same. Eventually I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I spilled my guts. She took it surprisingly well. Looking back, her acceptance was quite a testament to her feelings for me, and she was even willing to try and do it together, while looking at the ducks out the window. We moved the bed over and everything. It was . . . it was the single most sexually gratifying experience of my life. And she felt the same. Our duck-fapping became a regular thing. We never told anybody. But one day I walked in and found her. She was alone, doing it herself, looking out at the ducks just like I used to. She had the same glaze-eyed euphoric look. That’s how I knew: I was going to be replaced. Now that she’d done it without me, there was just no way I could compare to the ducks’ avian charm, their smooth and subtle allure. I knew the ducks’ power. She’d realized she didn’t need me. And the weirdest part? The only part that worries me? I was okay with that. Being replaced, I mean. So I walked over and sat down and started doing it at the ducks, too. And we did it together. That’s how it goes most days, now. We just sit there and masturbate, looking out at the ducks, and we hardly even speak to each other at all. And it feels just as good every time.
JACKSON BURGESS is a writer, painter, and student at the University of Southern California. His work has been or will be published in places, including recently Corvus Magazine, Petrichor Machine, and Subliminal Interiors. You can find him wandering around South Central LA, often with paint-stained hands. To see his full publishing history or to make sure he’s still alive, visit his personal blog: jacksonburgess.wordpress.com.