Greased Lightnin’

by Meghan Phillips

We are the first class to have a kissing assembly. Our health teach Ms. Kinsley and Mr. Neighbors, the shop teacher, built a robot kissing machine from an old CPR dummy. They rigged a small motor so its mouth would open and close just a little. Wired the lips so each kisser would get a tiny electric jolt. Just like the real thing.

When I was little, I wanted to be a car. All the best love songs were about cars: “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Panama,” “I’m In Love With My Car.” I would sit cross-legged too close to the TV, watching and rewatching the “Greased Lightnin’” scene from Grease. I didn’t understand most of what he was singing about, but my crotch hummed when John Travolta came down from the ceiling straddling that motor.

When it’s my turn with the machine, I think of Travolta running his hands over my hood. Grinding his hips against my fender. I imagine an engine lowering slow-motion from the ceiling and into my open body. I close my eyes. Wait for the spark.

Meghan Phillips is the fiction editor for Third Point Press and and associate editor for SmokeLong Quarterly. You can find her writing at and her tweets @mcarphil. She lives in Lancaster, PA.

Artwork by: Mike Killen