by Lukas Tallent
Issue #48 • November 18, 2016•Buy Now!
The day Landon broke his face we were trying to hurry, so he yanked a guitar cable free from the amp halfway across the room, and it smacked him in the eye. It was funny until I noticed the blood—a thick, carmine-colored liquid—seeping through his knuckles. “Dammit!” he yelled, amid my dwindling laughter. He told me to find a first aid kit from the closet. We were in his parents’ house, an extra bedroom they’d let him semi-convert to a music studio, which basically meant his equipment—guitars, amps, various stands and cables—lay scattered all over the floor. His mom worked as an ER nurse at the hospital and kept first aid kits in every room of the house, which I felt was a bit overkill. Inside the small closet, I found a tiny plastic box with several alcohol pads, gauzes, packets of acetaminophen and ibuprofen, neomycin antibiotic cream, latex gloves, a roll of medical tape, but no Band-Aids. Some kit, right? “Do you want me to use the gloves?” I asked. “No,” he said, “just hurry.” He was shorter than me by a foot, so I crouched a little in front of him and moved his bangs to the side in order to get a look at the wound. His breath in my face smelled thin and wet, papery.
Lukas Tallent received his Bachelor’s degree in English from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and he is currently pursuing a Master’s of Fine Arts degree at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. This is his first publication.
Patrick Ryan on Tres Amores
One of the best parts of my job is reading a story that comes in on submission, getting knocked out by the quality of the writing, and then discovering that the author hasn’t published anywhere before. It’s an immediate and special type of fondness that floods in, a kind of “instant nostalgia,” because it means One Teen Story will always be the first magazine to usher that author’s writing into the world.
And so it is my distinct pleasure to present to you “Tres Amores,” written by Lukas Tallent. It’s a story about music and songwriting. It’s a story about friendship, longing, and desire. It’s a story about three friends, one of whom, for better or for worse, is the brightest tip of the triangle.
I don’t want to give anything away; I’ll let the story unfold for you the way it did for me. But I will say that there’s a wonderful balance going on here in that the narrative voice is both young and mature, hopeful and jaded, love-weary and yet reaching for love. I hope you enjoy “Tres Amores,” and I’m confident we’ll be hearing more from Lukas Tallent in the future. Thank you, as always, for reading.
Q&A by Patrick Ryan