Brigit strummed her fingernails against the bar top to get Wendy’s attention. “Do you think he’s cute?” she whispered, pointing at David with her eyeballs.
“He looks like someone I dated,” groaned Wendy. “Whose life I… ruined.” She closed her eyes and waited for the throbbing to pass.
“Honey, you’re oozing.” Brigit grabbed a handful of cocktail napkins from behind the bar and dabbed Wendy’s bare arms. The napkins stuck to her skin; her skin stuck to the napkins. “Do you miss him?”
“No, no, he was an asshole, a meathead… this just happens sometimes. I turn to goo. Generational defect, something in my motherboard…”
It’s always the same. I pull up an hour before my shift begins. I get into a staring contest with a little grey cat who lives by the dumpster, the one with human-seeming eyes, a narrow face, and scabbed temples. She always wins. And then I work on this letter, which I have no intention of sending to you or anyone. If you’re reading this, then it means something happened before I had a chance to delete everything.
The world was out there, even if it was ending. I could climb down, join in. I could put my feet where other people had put theirs.
I never wrote back. I was afraid of asking the wrong questions, and afraid of what she would say. Better to sit here in my childhood bedroom, surrounded by library books and curling posters, and daydream about her crimes. From my small window, I could see her old house, boarded up and sinking into the ground. Her parents split up a few years after she ran away for the third and final time, and then they both disappeared. Her family was one of the few to escape our town…
The incandescent goo seemed to be taking over—conquering? Was this a conquest? It was a most disturbing spectacle; no one at the bar had seen anything like it before. Her skin, bones, organs—even her fingernails—became all quivery and faint. The affected areas retained their forms, but we could see right through them.
Her eyes were the last to go. Were they already so close to jelly that whatever disease or god responsible for her transformation saved them for the end, hoping for an easy finale?
When the change was complete, the light shining in and through Wendy sputtered out and she collapsed into a quivering puddle. One of the Regulars began to hum the theme song from The Blob. David sighed and asked the bartender for a takeout container. The bartender had never heard of such a thing.
A partial bibliography:
- Those which from a distance resemble flies: an encyclopedia of music video tropes, 1990-98. Dansbury: University of Dansbury, 2006.
Try as she might, Sonya doesn’t remember Earth. She was a baby when her family left for Umilenie, and a young adult by the time they arrived. She learned to walk, speak, and read in a spaceship.
Sonya wanted to learn about the world they’d left behind, but her parents were not helpful in this regard. “Oh man, such a shit-orb,” groaned her mother. “So much death. Sone, that planet was fucked. Filled to the brim with diseases, guns, rapists… hicks everywhere, and terrible weather.” No, she’d rather not talk about it; even thinking about it was unbearable…
Manfaced cats, party time: 2 of xx: willar