We put through the request for more teeth, sharper teeth retractable claws and thicker skin. The directive is fright but it takes a couple tries before Development gets it right. The changes need to be quickly reversible, otherwise the game will be over before it begins. We punch the new changes into the computer cards with careful precision, feed them through the input slot, wait. The changes correspond with the full moon, plenty of light to make sure the schematics were followed properly. already, we note where improvements could be made, plan careful phrasing so as not to offend the tech department.
I have the sudden desire To eat paint chips, drink turpentine, root around in the garden For toadstools and mushrooms Fight a bear. The phone sits in its cradle, refusing to liberate me From all of the good choices in life that brought me to this point The conscious good-food choices and intermittent exercise The firm shake of my head when offered dangerous substances To ingest, to smoke, to shove up my ass. There are things I did that could have led me to this point But it doesn’t seem like there were enough.
She tried to only focus on the cool, crisp raspy scratch of starched hospital sheets, focus on how her sweat refused to be absorbed into the rubber mattress just beneath the sheets clung to her backside in a warm pool. She wondered if she rolled over, it would look as though she’d wet the bed if she could roll over, if her friends would just look away embarrassed for her, but she couldn’t roll over, she knew she couldn’t. Her friends gathered around her bed and tried to distract her from the chance, the fact, no, the chance, let’s not lose hope that she would never be able to roll over again, to walk again might never leave this room again, maybe frighten her away from the edge of death, because yes, there could be death looming somewhere in the room, perhaps even capital D Death, a specter only she could see. She would get better soon, they assured her. They’d come by every day until she could come home. There were more inane words of encouragement from her parents, her lover, a stranger who had seen the accident from the rails of a highway overpass, a stranger who kept describing the accident in excited detail, as though someone in the room might be writing a book about her accident and he wanted them to get it right. All she remembered was seeing rabbits scurrying out of the way as she spun out of control a deer staring, curious, from the safety of a nearby stand of birch and fir brittle, yellow cornstalks rising in waves to catch the car as it finally fell.
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