Danny watched as the egg began to crack in his hand. He had never seen something being born before, and the fact that it was happening in the center of his palm, the shell splintering slowly, the peeping from within becoming more frantic with the discovery of life…it made his eyes fill with tears.
Nothing else mattered in the world except for this tiny messy thing looking up at him like he was God.
“Go ahead,” his mother said, once the thing had fluffed itself to yellow cotton-candy consistency. “Give it back.”
It was the first time he said “no.”
“I’ve been poisoned,” she said to her sister as they sat on the porch, watching the tendrils of black infection creep up her pale arms.
“Does it hurt?”
“Naw,” she lied, each breath burning in her lungs.
“Is there an antidote?”
“If there is, I don’t know how to get it.” Blood was beginning to seep into her vision, casting a reddish glow on the little girl holding her hand so tightly and starting to cry.
“Tell me about your pony toys,” she said, picking up a pink filly in trembling fingers.
“That one is Twinkle-Butt.”
I hate this song, Thomas thought before the car shattered around him. There was no slow motion to the destruction. This wasn’t a television show. He was just driving one second, and the next, glass had cut neat lines into his forehead and his airbag appeared like a grenade-powered cloud.
Stillness. And a wet dripping, from his nose and his mouth.
Pain and broken bones, and now he couldn’t move his arm to change the channel. In murky half-consciousness the voices of people outside were knocking and pulling at his door, and he said to them, “Pop music fucking sucks.”