Trigger warning: mention of incels in ‘SCORPIO’.
VIRGO dredges up old memes from every corner of the internet and adds them to the archive. He’s a regular contributor to TV Tropes, and the one friend who knows exactly which Facebook group you liked back in 2010 to screenshot in order to cancel you.
Good, bad, everything, Virgo lords over it all; a constant reminder of exactly how long you’ve all been on this hellsite. If asked, he’d just say it’s all a part of ‘the mortifying ordeal of being known’.
Virgo would then remind you that that quote (‘if we want the reward of being loved we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known’) is from a 2013 New York Times opinion piece and the context of it being written was that the author emailed all his co-workers some pictures of goats he had rented, and then got sad when one of his co-workers accidentally cc’d him back “oof”.
SCORPIO spends his afternoons doing side-quests instead of progressing the main story. Aries hasn’t accepted his friend request yet, but it’s only been a week. She might not’ve been online yet, or…or something.
Notifications get swallowed up all the time.
Sinking hundreds of hours into other worlds. Scorpio deals with his nerves like dealing with a school paper: replacing Sparknotes with YouTube searches, libraries for Google— How to get the Girl, Getting Girls to Notice You, 10 Things Noobs Need to Know About Females. It’s on Reddit where he finds them, the boys. They get it.
He reads at first. Then he starts to speak.
It’s here Scorpio finds his people.
They laugh. They share. They play. Monday comes and Scorpio changes his username, creates an official account. He subscribes to the channels xXInvoluntarily_CelibateXx recommends. He celebrates this good mood with an hour of Skyrim before his first class.
ZodiacKillerxx3 recs him a mod that makes all the NPCs naked.
It’s only available on PC.
LIBRA tweets a spell:
💗🌸 I welcome self-love into my life 🌸💗
✨like to charge spell
✨retweet to cast
She rises out of blood and sea foam, walking into virality fully formed.
AQUARIUS thinks of identity in general as the first time you pick up a long board, or the first time you kiss a girl. As smoking or painting or surfing. As bleached hair or goon sacks or getting your nose pierced in the back of your best friend’s dads’ car. Identity, that amorphous thing, a beach that is never close enough. And sure, it’s all a bit cliché and a bit dramatic, but Aquarius still thinks that really, it’s okay if you’re sixteen and you still haven’t mapped your own sea floor.
If ‘exploring your gender’ is becoming a trend then Aquarius is glad it’s replacing ‘being confused and miserable with no vocabulary for what you’re going through’. Ey post this and thousands respond.
Ey do not read the comments.
LEO captions his gym selfies with ‘remember to take your medicine’, ‘stay hydrated!’ ‘remember to eat! Omnom 😉’. He loves you almost as much as he loves himself, and he wants you happy and as healthy as can be. His account chronicles every moment, of every day of his life. He’s posted six selfies today, and it says something that his 15 million followers on Instagram can’t stop looking at him, and maybe that something is he can’t stop looking at himself either—why should he? Nobody’s complaining.
It’s been about an hour; another selfie won’t hurt.
PISCES sits in the middle of his bedroom floor, absolutely devastated by the fact that he has a physical form.
GEMINI loves Choose Your Own Adventure books, but they always keep their finger on the pages before committing to any one option, so they can make sure that they pick the quickest route to the happiest ending. Predictably, they
end up with all their fingers stuck at different pages.
CAPRICORN stands in line for the bathroom with one leg kicked up against the brick wall behind her. Armed with a ciggie-grin. Head thumping in time with the bass out on the floor. Her confidence borders on arrogance, people either adore her or hate her, and she feels pretty similarly about them in return.
If Capricorn’s face was a barcode when scanned it would read: forehead, eyebrows, flawless-eyeliner-on-the-first-try, nose, lips, stubble, chin.
‘They’re just like normal wolves.’ She hears someone say to a friend as they pass, wiping their hands on their pants. ‘Except they’re dire.’
Capricorn’s been in line for 2813 years.
She’s never watched Game of Thrones.
About the author
Jes Layton is a geek with a hat, an author, artist and freelance writer. Jes works in administration for the UNESCO Melbourne City of Literature Office and Express Media. Jes has presented work at a variety of writers(’s) festivals around Australia unpacking fandom, identity and genre fiction. You can find Jes’ work in AZE Journal, The Victorian Writer, Junkee, Voiceworks and more. Jes’ short story ‘Chemical Expression’ features in Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories.