An exquisite corpse via Facebook, curated in honor of our Small Changes donation campaign. Thanks to all the contributors! Every little bit helps.
Me was born on the 4th of July, We too, like twin firecrackers, and since the beginning Me had been plagued with a premonition: that the world would end on July 31st.
Out came the lightning bugs. Luciferin. Luciferase.
The Beginning: “Hurry!” shouted Me to We. “Save Pat’s rat from being eaten by OAT, our fat cat, or Pat’s temper will flare up—he’s not quite sane.” "Me," said We with a sigh, "who cares if Pat gets mad. His rat is annoying." "You're so cruel. No creature deserves to die like that.... Plus OAT is already so fat," Me replied as she trotted towards the door, cat lasso in hand. "Well," said We, "maybe we should ask Chris Christopher Hershey-Van Horn what to do." "Good idea," said Me. But I can't find him.
“meowww. meow meow. meeow.” “I concur, indeed. Finally, we're speaking the same language. I've waited so long.” OAT and Meester Pance, new pals, decided to work together to catch the rat, OAT because she liked to eat, and Meester Pance because he fucking hated Pat.
The cop, Patrick Shank, Pat for short, had a fetish for things that never stopped growing--the universe (perhaps), hair, the splinter teeth of rodents.
Fast / East
The Rat used over 900,000 names. She brutally beat a servant girl with a hammer in woods that lay outside Danville. She killed a five-year-old girl by strangling and stabbing her 36 times with scissors. Me? I don't know what Me was doing when We said that Me had sliced The Rat's fin from its hide. Me? Me? Me? Me? I just felt like laughing. Internal to that laughter was a simple progression: The Rat tortured animals--domesticated dogs, house cats--and attacked people, sometimes in broad daylight. Her crimes were halted during the Great California War. Soon, she drowned two young friends while swimming. She moved in with one of the victims' families. Her injury, unnoticed. The victim's family was named Reverof. The mother bathed The Rat and skipped the wound, and others. Each scale hid the scent of The Rat's atrocities. A torn ligament; a plucked tooth; a lacerated friendship. The Mother Reverof would sing to The Rat the song she knew from her youth, "We like you baby, when you turn your back on us, forever, forever, forever." The Rat became more lucid. The song outlined in detail a labyrinth of possibilities, all of which seem to revolve around The Rat's cunt. During that time, The Rat's only human contact was with Reverof, who sometimes bought her fast food, and sometimes told her amusing stories. Seven months into her captivity, Reverof introduced The Rat to her wife, Nancy, who brought The Rat a stuffed animal and chocolate milk. There was a cop The Rat longed to kill. and doughnuts. The sweet smell of putrefaction. The Rat reminisced over her far gone youth mirrored in a pool beneath her. "Will you turn your back on us, Mother Reverof?" The words twisted through her corrupt passageways. The Rat's memory: a winter sucking up slurry from behind a saw, drowning in the lake when he thought he saw movement down there, pissing on her brother's knees. When The Rat came to Reverof and Nancy were there. Chris Christopher Hershey-Van Horn's memory: "OAT, come here...Me, where's OAT?" Me twirled the cat lasso, slapping the ground. "He's met up with Meester Pance." Something was burning. We held Luciferace and Lucifer in one hand. Luciferace was burnt to a crisp. "The Rat," said We.
What do you think Me will do, with only 6 days left to live? Pray for her prey underneath a bridge. The days that remain between Me, We and that drowning Rat's saturated memories of undulating lyrics and saccharine junk food/"Nowhere to go beyond the 31st?"/but plenty to do. Me's furry fingers tore a page from her calendar as she whispered, "all dressed up and nowhere to go."
The hours/our water flowing slowly filling the tub too fully the tub/the month when me and we climb in the time is up the brink is reached/blown/nowhere to go beyond the 31st. But first me in need of a sip drinks water through tips of fingers unable to hold the words floating between us digesting only vowels one by one, hands clasped around phrases and phalli that linger in lukewarm tub water and cracked porcelain.
True, by this time it was not a blank space anymore.
Neither OR nor UP the beetle in my bed, the choli, ¡te amo, te amo! OR felt the wave and it was gnats, los bobos que murieron en su nariz. It was always true. The wor(l)d became a fight for a last. Breath. I avoided a vast, artificial hole somebody had been digging on the slope, the purpose of which I found it impossible to divine.