Symptoms of the New Avian Flu

An eyewitness account...

Primary Eyewitness

“I stopped seeing his name pop up on my phone,” she said, “so I gouged my eyes out.”

The girl speaking in the opposite corner of the bedroom, illuminated by overlapping circles of colored Christmas lights, her form swaying through the eddies of pink and blue and green and post-sunset golden smoke, looked at me. I thought at first, struggling to separate her black cotton shirt from the wiggling shadows, that she was telling the truth. There were two round black holes in the center of her face.

I shook my head, blew out my hit, and leaned slightly forward. “Sorry, what?” I said.

“I know you wouldn’t fucking believe me,” she said. “Nobody does. Nobody knows. You all think you’re all so different, you all play pretend, tell each other lies. Whispering.” The weed curled a little unpleasantly in my veins.

“I admit that I did it,” she said, “the gouging. I did the final stab of it, used the scissors with the chipped paint handle I found in a kitchen drawer. Pushed until I felt a pop. I did that part. But you all did the rest. The whispering. The texting.”

She was rocking now from side to side, like she was relinquishing ownership of her body to some méchant fantôme, to a prophecy. The darkness in her eyes deepened. My ears were screeching across the highest violin string, no grease, ich, ich.

“Oooh, the texting! Never again! Blood and worms! I’d do it again! I’ll do it again!”

“Jesus Christ!” I cried, jumping to my feet. “Well have you found it now in the darkness?! Have you found what you were looking for?!”

“You stupid bitch,” she said, disappearing. “I must feed my hens..”

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