by Tajo McBurnie

“I just broke so many traffic laws…” she panted as she threw open the door. Her name was Lily Rasputin and she rode her bike much too quickly. She was born in rolling black hills. She only ate fruity flavors of ice cream. The swinging door swung and on the other side was the north pole. Dissimilar. Or rather opposite. On the couch was Cozette Goldman, who loved most and ate rich chocolate ice cream. The mesh screen door clacked shut.

Cozette’s face graceully accepted a kiss from sweaty lips as Lily asked her what she would do if she was the dictator of a small country of excommunicated island convicts who would perform any tasked she wished.

“They would bake me cakes.”

“I would make each of of them give me a tooth, one from either side of their mouth, and in exchange they would be allowed to freely go about their own affairs. I’d use the teeth to make jewlery. They’d call me The Dentist.”

Sometimes Lily would water her neighbors garden. She would hold the hose over her head and pretend she was a rain god (or water god), willing the rain from nearby clouds with divine power of precipitation. Sometimes the divine rain hose would become tangled, and like plaque buildup in arteries, the green, fleshy rubber veins would cease their showers. Lily thought that most gods faced these kinds of problems. She shut the water off.

Swinging door swung, mesh screen clacked.

From the inside this time though. Ambulance outside at that intersection that isn’t a four way stop.

Blood like tissues after a bloody nose.

Or blood like an art project during a bloody nose, quick and opportunistic.

“Steel is real” was Lily’s mantra, none of that aluminum shit, that’ll just crumple up like an art project. Quick and opportunistic.

But steel can also crumple. And spokes will bend and wheels will no longer spin straight.

Cozette had left the tap on in the kitchen. She shut the water off.

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