A Secret of Many Flavors

The hunger never ceases; just one more turns into two, then ten, and before long I’m lying spent and delirious on the cold basement floor.

In between ecstasy tides crashing down my gullet, I am a registered nurse at St. George’s Memorial Hospital. On weekends, I spend hours at the field watching my nephew play soccer. Other days I’m curling up with a good book next to my tabby Ronald, or I’m out gardening. The truth is, I’m really just like everyone else – we all have dirty secrets. Mine just happens to involve a peculiar addiction and a dank basement.

Today, I’m babysitting my hyperactive nephew whose winter break has just begun. Sure, my sister is paying me a few bucks to watch the boy, but it’s not about the money. It’s nice having him distract Ronald while I spend a few hours alone downstairs.

The instant my tongue touches the damp concrete wall, my senses flare and my heart beats out of my chest. The tang of mothballs and old dust shoots hot coals down my throat, causing my muscles to tighten and retract from the beautiful pain. The concrete wall like icy beef tongue scrapes my lips raw, the kiss of candy coated barbed wire. After the wall warms from my lustful exhalations, I move to another part of the basement and the lapping continues.

Ronald says I have a problem and should seek professional help, but who is he to talk when his only sense of hygiene is licking his ass? Thankfully my nephew can’t understand the cat like I do, or there would really be a problem; there is no way in hell that I am sharing my wall with a nose-picking six-year-old.

The Fruit

 

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Photo credit

Josh stood in the room dazed, long black hair in mats over his torn Metallica t-shirt. His fingers trembled against the fragile chain of a paper medallion in his pocket. It felt as if he had been standing there for eternity.

“It’s been 40 years, Josh.” Rebecka ran a hand through her greasy mocha curls. “Forty fucking years.

“We have to keep going.”

“Forty years.

“Have to –”

Rebecka squeezed Josh’s head between sweaty palms. Blood dripped down her nose and neck, following the curvature of her chest until disappearing in a spirit-soaked cherry blossom blouse. “Forty years,” she breathed. The blue in her eyes retreated behind a hysterical scarlet.

As Rebecka’s pulsing grasp tightened around Josh, the night gripped him further. With every breath, he felt himself fall deeper. “Please, stop,” he pleaded. His mouth was parched, fists trembling, stuck in cemented pockets. “Beck.” The echoes silenced him, forcing his eyes closed, unintelligible gargle lost among Rebecka’s maniacal chants.

Suddenly, Rebecka fell to the floor, consumed with laughter. Her fists clung to her throbbing gut. “Forty years. Forty years,” she exclaimed amid waves of frothing saliva and crimson bile. Josh lost the dilated pupils of Rebecka’s eyes in the gaping holes in the checkerboard wall, eyeing the sparkling faces that sneered beyond the bright room.

“This isn’t real!” Josh wept, brushing away slick, black tears. “Please stop.” He felt grimy fingers cover his body, razor tongues tracing the arch of his back. It would not let up.

Phantoms rose from the pyretic nightscape, empty faces stapled to crystalline medallions around the ghouls’ necks. They laced their orchid strings around Josh’s arms and legs, pulling him into the checkerboard abyss. As the boy screamed and desperately scratched the floor, gripping anything that he believed could help end his torment, the demons dragged harder, more violently, until at last he was plunged into the night — falling deeper inside Rebecka’s blighted pupils.

Blurry images flew past him and shot above into nothingness, pieces of happy memories reduced to emotionless pixels. Seconds of descent turned to a month, another year, another decade. Fragments of beautiful, winged dancers twirled around him, seeming to giggle before fading with every bit of Josh’s love, his life, his humanity.

Finally, Josh melted in the shadow, opening his eyes to face another pair of soulless pupils once again. His hands grazed a warm paper string in his front pocket.

Thirty years,” Rebecka grumbled. “It’s been 30 fucking years, Josh.”

Josh swore it had been longer.

 

Code Blue

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Photo credit: Jacirema Ferreira

Gone are the days of courteous suits and well-mannered sprouts.

The last drop of decency rests at the bottom of a bottle,

A shallow globe of love-drunk nobodies.

 

As the surviving guardians disappear

In comatose clouds of abandonment,

We hide beneath damp cloths.

 

Chivalry is dead.

Every Day Is Christmas

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Photo credit: Andreas Sautner

Gray boxes are unwrapped amid

A hapless audience of frozen machines.

As we’re lost in avalanches of veiled dysphoria,

Powder snow stains steely sidewalks red.

 

The paparazzi flash their black flowers,

So we sport a grin and sit up straight.

It’s what we’re bred for – all we know.

But behind pink, plastic walls rests a frenzied terror.

 

You’ll read about it tomorrow, I’m sure.

Best Friend

Their bodies danced different melodies. As Snowflake pulled away, Harry moved forward. She wanted to throw herself in a lane of oncoming traffic, while he wanted her down on the floor.

“You said you wanted to play, didn’t you?” Harry asked through ecstatic gasps. The hold he had on her tightened. “Well, now you get exactly what you asked for, girl.”

Snowflake’s doleful pleas filled the aquarium, evoking annoyed and disgusted sighs from the passersby. “God, man; can’t you take that someplace else? There are kids here,” mumbled a man clad in formal attire – nothing similar to what one would expect to see in a public aquarium.

Harry dismissed the offended gentleman, and continued thrusting himself onto the brunette beauty. He usually was not one for public displays of affection, but he felt there was a point to be made: if Snowflake was serious about her requests, she should do as she was told. It was the least she could do; after all, he was the one who fed her and gave her a place to sleep.

At one point, they caught the eye of an unsuspecting young kid who had just come from the bathroom. “What?” Harry yelled. “You ain’t ever seen a guy enforcing his dominance on his bitch?” The little guy stood there utterly confused until his mother called him back to the posse.

With a final lunge, Harry stopped and looked down at the defeated female. The flash of excitement that shone in her dark eyes had been exterminated by the one she trusted the most. She dropped her chin to the tiled floor and whimpered.

“Glad to see you finally understand my frustration, Snowflake,” he said, zipping his trousers. “Now let’s go get that ball you wanted to fetch so badly that you lost it in the otter exhibit.”

The young collie’s copper fur sparkled under the lights of the seahorse display; her happiness had returned along with a swiftly-wagging tail. She would finally get to play fetch with her master.

Second Sequence

It’s been two days since the launch of the operation and already I’ve received transmissions of implying doubt of a success of any kind; our main problem lies with morale. Before the Cleansing, we were covered by such a great cloud of optimism and confidence, but all that remains is a pathetic fog of uncertainty and despair. Perhaps things would be better if the Broodmaster had given us more information on our mission – I sure would have appreciated so much as a mere rumor of the strange practices this otherworldly species engaged in.

Seriously, how could they live like this? I’ve been carefully studying the leader of the familial unit – the creature’s family call it “John,” so that is to which I will refer in the remainder of this assessment – for which I have been assigned and the preliminary results are astounding to say the least. At precisely 040:510 – I’ve concluded that at that hour, their singular cosmic heating unit rises, marking the start of the “day” – John awakens from its plush resting cushion and proceeds by entering the central washing station to cleanse its figure of the filth acquired from the previous day’s excursions. During this odd ritual a strange caterwauling emits from John’s feeding hole, which is oddly in tune with a transmission from the communication cube. Unfortunately, John and the transmission’s unsightly duo-wailing created a disruption in my Enerboard, and I had to evacuate the washing station to reestablish my camouflage core.

Upon completing a rather lengthy washing cycle, the leader John inserted a long, blue probe covered with a blue paste into its feeding hole perpendicular to its information-processing unit. Until 040:758, John repeatedly prodded its feeding hole with the object, after which it discharged white foam and he progressed to wash its opening with a warm, transparent fluid.

At 040:759, John donned a colored cloth protective sack. Why this species believes an extra layer of protection is required over their already durable exotech is beyond me. They have the strongest exotech I’ve ever studied – its unfazed by fluid or pressure! I have yet to test the effects of mild and extreme temperatures on this advanced technology, however (that will come in further installments).

Careful not to disrupt its reproductive companion, Lynn, John advanced expeditiously into the largest unit in the nest and grasped a white container of hot, black liquid before rushing out of the nest.

Thus concludes my initial study into this alien species. Secondary reports detailing the other members of the familial unit as well as the leader John’s other daily rituals have begun, and I am confident they will arrive to the Broodmaster’s carrier within the next three Earth days.

Until then, stay poised soldiers.

Attention, Shoppers

I see those beady eyes of yours staring at me through the window. Your desire for what I have is unsettling at the very least, but it’s a feeling I’ve grown accustomed to.

No longer do I shift awkwardly at my post while you scan my purple belted chiffon dress and the white diamond necklace that hangs at my breast. Instead of shying away when you compliment me on how the black Gucci leather bag brings out the blue in my eyes, I smile and wave you on.

You would think that I would grow tired of listening to the endless-looping string of popular songs during business hours, but I find the monotonous melodies soothing. The overhead speakers provide me with a distraction from the typical gossip storm of privileged spenders, and for that I’m grateful. It always surprises me how petty shoppers’ arguments are – let me tell you kids: when I was your age I wouldn’t ever think of bellyaching if my mom didn’t buy me the upgraded cell phone; I was lucky if I had a shirt to wear.

Nevertheless, you are human after all – I merely plastic. If I was fortunate to have such mobility and freedom, I imagine I would be as spoiled and arrogant as you all are. Just remember to see usthe next time you want to steal our handbags and put our clothes in a shopping basket.

We may be mannequins, but we have feelings too.