“Reelin’ In The Years”

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The knife is very sharp. The air in the apartment is clear and cool. Your sinuses fluctuate between stuffy and vacant with an instant of crackling pain. If you allow the pain to slip away momentarily- to drain from your perception like tea from that cracked mug you persist in using- you can just barely smell the inside of your own nose. That’s quite a trick. The left nostril reeks of blood. Reeks of the occult. Your right nostril can detect the smell of a vista unseen by human eyes yet, a sere hilltop in what used to be the polar regions until the expanding photosphere of the dying sun blew all the air away, leaving only a dark and cold sky through which the stars shine unimpeded, stray wafts of radon emerging from the porous rocks below, chasing a puff here and there of something fruity, spontaneously generated from outgassed methanoic acid and isobutanol, combined by increasingly frequent moments of vulcan alchemy.

You’re drifting. Your apartment is empty. Some hard-ass motherfuckers in nehru jackets came and tied you up and emptied your apartment, and then they broke apart some of the furniture and reassembled it as a long table. That is what they tied you to, and then they went out on the fire escape and smoked your cigarettes.

Until she came.

The Doctor is so skinny that she doesn’t have to open the door. She slips in under the crack between door and floor like a goddamn letter, and slinks up to you.

“Greetings.”

She leans over you and that is when the knife appears. Or had it always been there? Embedded in your flesh in some state of quantum uncertainty, weaving in and out of your flesh like the fat blunt needle of an industrial sewing machine?

“You fucking CUNT.”

There is no uncertainty at that point, principled or otherwise. She grins beneath her round dark glasses, but the tight skin between her eyes and temples tell you a different story.

She gets to work. You scream.  Over and over again. She asks a lot of questions, and you don’t provide much in the way of intelligible information. Then she puts the knife down. It is very sharp. Her sigh cuts you deeper.

“Okay. Fine. Why don’t we try this again.” She bends backward, stretching, and underneath a coating of your blood and an unbuttoned labcoat, the bones in her flat chest stretch and creak under pale skin sheened with sweat. She has been working hard. “Let’s start over at the beginning.”

The knife is very sharp.

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