“¡Squawwwk! ¿What’s taking you so long?”

“Give me a second.”

No matter how many times she splashed aftershave onto her chin, the thick red lines continued to spill blood.

“There’s something wrong, ¿isn’t there?” said Son o’ Toucan. “You need to go to the hospital.”

“No,” she replied, almost in a gasp. Not there. No. I can never go back.

“There’s nothing to worry ’bout,” she called out. “I just spilled something on my corsage is all.”

She glanced down @ the browning pumpkin on her chest, its bramble tentacles still drooping.

For now a’least. She knew ’twas always just a reprieve.

I’m usually mo’ careful. Shit. She slapped on mo’ aftershave. Can’t believe there are actually people who try to be impervious to pain.

O, but I won’t be for long, she thought, eyes widening. The biological engineers—they know a way to create pain in the painless…


Aftershave, carnation, parrot