Jane Voodikon offers the third post in an online game of Consequences (inspired by Hydragenic‘s wonderful experiment), wherein eleven writers, myself included, each write a 250-word narrative around the theme of an abandoned landscape, and must use the last line of the previous post as his or her first line. Our series was started by Sam J. Miller, followed by Jade Park. Next up in a few days is Lisa, One-Eyed Woman. (Jane lives in Chengdu, China, which restricts access to WordPress and Blogspot, so here’s her post on my site.)
This is where playing dead landed me.
I was due for something dreadful, indeed. Drunken frat boys, talking deer, the DMZ, disappearing buildings. Surely a hallucination. If I don’t talk to it, it’ll go away. Deny. I refuse to talk to a deer. Large antlers and deep voice or otherwise. Talking deer do not exist, and neither does the DMZ, at least not in North America, where I must be, since I’ve never left the continent.
Suddenly, I realized I was going to vomit. I realized because that thing started to happen. That thing that means an upchuck is impending. That thing when you see something nasty and in your brain, everything’s just going from bad to worse: like you see a shit smear in the toilet bowl and uncontrollably, with your consciousness screaming no!, stop!, stop!, your hand reaches into the bowl, scraping the fecal matter and getting it all jammed underneath your fingernails. But you can’t stop there: You have to go and stick your fingers in your mouth, scraping the insides of your dirty nails with your teeth. It happens every time I see a toilet brush, too. The whole thing was slowly playing out in my mind, and that’s when the bile started coming up.
So then I was standing, a puddle of puke at my feet, in a forest, possibly very near to a talking deer with large antlers—maybe an opossum too, who knows—the birds hadn’t been talking! I distinctly recalled hearing birds fighting, in normal bird squawk.