The next in our weekly posts of Superversive Fiction from Abyss & Apex Magazine
The Night The Stars Sang Out My Name
by Ken Scholes
I should have been a runner.
Of course I’m naked. Naked and running full–on. Suit seized up three weeks back. Then captured. So now I’m naked and running under stars that steal my words and warp my sense of size in the vastness of Everything. Using a stolen charstick to burn my way out. A flash. A scream. A smell of burning meat.
I should have been a chef.
CHIB–CHILI, CHIB–PUREE, CHIB–KABOB –– That’s my jiminy. He chatters endlessly when nervous. His name is Eddie.
My stomach lurches. I haven’t eaten in days. Even chib sounds good.
Speak of the devil, one appears. I burn out its face. Chibby Chibby Burning Bright ––
I should have been a poet.
My jiminy agrees with this and launches into a litany of children’s verse. Find our way out of here, I send.
A trisket a –– WORKING ON IT, BOSSMAN –– a trasket a green and yellow––
Another chib breaks through the foliage to my west. I sweep the charstick over it. Another flash. Another scream. More meat.
Hey diddle diddle , my son John –– WEST FIVE LEAGUES, ROVING PACK SEVEN –– went to bed with his stockings ––
I adjust my course. Good work, Eddie.
DON’T MENTION IT.
`And he’s back at it with the verses. Five leagues more of Eddie’s manic sing–song. I tell myself I’m going to have him removed. Upgraded. I tell myself he’s been a real pain in the you–know–what for the past thirty years. I tell myself that he’s not my friend and I don’t need him.
But I do. I really should have been a poet. Then I wouldn’t need this extra personality piggy–backing my own, watching my six. Then all I’d need is words.
WORDS – BIRDS – TURDS – CURDS ––
A moment’s peace, is all I ask.
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