Stuffed Head

Stuffed Head

The Vrekli had charged him a small fortune for the gene-tailored symbiotes, and it had taken weeks for him to get used to the squirming feeling in his nasal passages, but it was worth it to be at long last rid of the allergies that had made his life a misery since childhood. The tiny slime worms reliably devoured every speck of pollen, every fragment of dust-mite, every molecule of each airborne allergen that had plagued him in the past, before they could cause the vestige of a reaction.

What he shouldn’t have done was to spring for the recreational-hallucinogen nanobot inhaler on Chur’r. There seemed to be a struggle for supremacy going on inside his sinuses—some kind of hierarchical dispute—and even though he was zoned to the gills, he had now been sneezing nonstop for at least two hours. The spasms were simultaneously a delightful metaphor for a pervasive sense of oneness with the universe, and absolutely unbearable.

from the notebooks of F. J. Bergmann

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Five Star Review – Alyssa N. Vaughn

Metaphorosis January 2019“We need to get serious about losing weight.” my mother says as she tosses the empty pizza boxes next to the recycling bin.

“I beg your pardon?” I manage to sputter, following behind her to break the boxes down into smaller pieces that will actually fit inside the bin. My toddler, Johnny, is in bed already, but my mother insists that we have “girl time” at the end of each one of her unannounced visits.

“We all do.” she says breezily. “You, me, your sister, your dad. Especially your dad!”

“Okay.” I say hesitantly, hoping that this conversation will just die off if I don’t engage too much.

“I mean, if you’re going to have another baby, you need to be in better shape, don’t you?” she takes the dishes off the table and carries them to the sink, places them on the draining board with the clean cereal bowls from this morning, with the wine glasses from last night that are waiting reproachfully to be put away.

I wait until she pours herself another glass of diet cola before I get up and rinse the dishes, leaving them in the sink for later.

My mother has, thankfully, moved on to talk about my cousin’s new job, and how she’ll be moving closer to the rest of the family. If you listen very carefully for the way she breathes between sentences, you can hear that my cousin is leaving her partner, and our whole family is dying to know if she’ll go “back to men” when she starts dating again.

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