Next Time

Two cockroaches mated – cosmically – on an old book, now little more than a pulp of mildew.

Gladys was white as a sheet, spotted now with black strokes.

“Will she make it, doctor?” said a bedside Stan, who couldn’t help but fret. “I’m wor ried.”

“She’s already made it, Stan.”

The lamp above was clicking, and Gladys’ chest heaved, ink running forth from her mouth and bowels, which crinkled.

“She’s such a mess, doctor, good God.”

“Well, she’s getting worse, Stan.”

The doctor opened a window and dumped Gladys out. She fell three stories and crushed an infant, and blood and black stained the sidewalk which echoed screams and quaked. The two congealed on this earth that burned under the sun, singed like atoms on a bimbo’s nipple.

Gladys was set ablaze. A wailing pyre, the sludge and ink and feces evaporated, breathed deep by the mother that clawed her jowls.

“Doctor, doctor,” Stan began to yell.

“She’s on the installment plan, Stan. She’ll keep going.”

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