The Big Day
By Rick Weaver

        "It seems as though the two of us are always trying to get married, you and I. We toddle and waddle, in sickness and in health, in penguin and white, up to the altar before the cleric's very cassock, lifting veils, buying vows, slipping and sliding rings, but every time we lean in for that kiss of bliss, some odious outsider's odd interference prevents us from sealing the deal. Wedding bells are music to my ears, but, alas, shall I ever get the chance to ring your bell?

        "Billy 'Shakes' likes to say that parting is such sweet sorrow, but ours is a sorrow of a different cut - we can hardly part ways, for we never arrive. What gyves? We could blame Lady Luck. We could blame Mook. We could blame the Nun, or Hammerneck, or Sapper, or Wand, or Judy, or Dial, or 'Shakes', or MacKinac, or Flip, or The Dandy Man, or Marzipan of Zanzibar, or Vemuri, or the Hunch, or the 'Kernel', or Wraith the Rake, or the Paraffin Terrapin, or any of the other hooligans belonging to that clutch of criminals known as the C.S.C. And blame them we shall, for the fault lies with every one of those goons and their nefarious stratagems to despoil and foil our nuptial plans.

        "Remember that time in the shaft? Just as we were putting up the shutters and dimming the neon lamps at our bread-and-butter, the Lachine Shop, Vemuri made the call. We were ready to am-scray and make headway towards our homestead, but heck, business is business, and a smarty likes to make a couple extra smack-a-roos at the end of the day. We were both eager to pillow down that evening, tomorrow being the Saturday at the end of a strenuous fiver, and not only Saturday, but our Big Day. However, Money's Money, and we took the call. Shoulda recognized that voice on the other end of the telephone line. Unfortunately, neither one of us 'guess-who'-ed. It cost us. And how!

        "Vemuri, or 'Thor Electric', being the name she furnished as truth, ordered a dirty dozen Anacreontic apple maggots and four handfuls of Confederate Buttercups. We fired up the 'laughing furnace' and got to work manifesting those maggots with the Hatter's bow. Pluck. Pluck. Pluck. Plucking the bow delicately, shaking loose the dirt, dirt falling through the honeycomb, into our bastard child's mouth. Close his mouth and dilate the pupils. He sits in the corner for forty-five minutes. During the duration, the apple maggots grow as our boy's saliva and the dirt shook loose from the Black Blind Beetle felt mingle in his mouth, now sewn shut to prevent 'sunbeaming' (overexposure). While we wait for the maggots to mature, we get to work on the Buttercups. Frozen hardtack pulled from the freezer is 'bumped' on the boy's head until softened or snapped. This stooge act carries on until the hardtack turns to dust. The dust is then rashly rubbed into the po' boy's hair. The dust reforms, parroting and mirroring the boy's hair strands. This creates the 'musical box' effect, a gavotte of double-stranded dancers. A darling spin and twirl of hair and dust. The slow pulse of Lachine. The cricket hum of their commerce blossoms the Confederate Buttercups.

“That night, we hard rubbed extra dust. After grabbing four healthy handfuls, we stored the extra petals growing from our boy's scalp for the flower girl to throw tomorrow: Saturday: Big Day.  

        "About an hour had passed, and we knew our client 'Thor Electric' must have been getting pretty hungry waiting for her dose of our Anacreon cuisine. So we 'pumped' the apple maggots out of the boy's extra cheek hole, bagged them up, and sent him on his way.

        "Our youthful boy kept a quick youthful boy pace, and arrived at the Igou-Ogun with time to spare. He wrenched open the brass door and sped straight ahead full speed across the lobby, knowing very well not to look left or right, into the thousand vicious probing mosaic eyes…the first greeter, stationed discreetly between two lacquered elephants, lunged at the boy with dry malicious hands. The aftermath left purple rings around the Adam's apple.

        After checking in with the greeter, he raced past the bowel's lane, laden with pins. The greeter, his eyes stained with blood, dressed in his usual blue-mooned pinstriped conductor's uniform, resumed his jigsaw fashioned from cardboard.

        The second greeter, Prod, was not as unusual as the Conductor. A boy only had to wave his gums at Prod. If Prod approved, the boy would lay down on his back and feign extinction while Prod thoroughly explored the gums with tongue and needles.

        Then the overcrowded sew room, slowed down by the quick temper of weighted blankets. The room was easy enough to enter - the tenant nearly always left the door ajar for visitors. Upon entering, the visitors found his piles to clamber through, a third of suffocation; older wounds reopened and languorously bled. The third greeter with the sagged eyes stretched the boy's reopened wounds to their physical borders. When the wounds could stretch no more, the sloth-like and lumbering giant greeter would tire of the game, retreating deep into his weighted foreskin blankets, known as the crypta. The temper subsided; the itch to stretch subdued.

        The boy barreled onward, and tripped over piano timber. Into dense foliage, the striped chopping block and repetitive sound. Marguerite chewed off his fingernails. While Marguerite spit them out, Gun gashed his own forehead to receive them.

        The boy trudged forward, dodging the sound of the St. Lawrence Roil, the rapid sound slowly gummed up and leveed, then silence, a hypnagogic spur of mangle to the left of the boy's gnawed ear. Slush or grip made no difference to the boy as he mounted tetraplegia. He glid into checkered slots, fretting the timeliness.

        'Please, can you read this? Please tell me where I need to go.' He tugged at Slush.

        Slush narrowly squinted closely to read the ticket smear and answered.

        'Tenth floor, room to the far right, is where you need to go. Ride the elevator. To get to the elevator, turn the corner down the bag, and turn left, then quick left, and you can't miss it.'

        After thanking Slush, our boy bounded off and bounced right into a heavy chest heave. The heavyset man, wrapped in cerecloth, bloodshot and scarred with batters head to nose, slammed the boy against a checkered slot. The slot flipped, and the boy unexpectedly flipped too.

        Recovering from his confusion and a contusion, the boy stood fast and bolted, smacked into another checkered slot, slot flipped, and the boy flipped too.

        Recovering and so forth, Othello flipping, reflective Reptilian scales, nonrepetitive eternality, and finally arriving, though not at all by Slush's recommended route, at elevator door.

        The boy pushes in the up button as a lady turns the corner. The boy recognizes the ‘spitfire who reeks of pesticide’. In the lift they go together. Up to the tenth floor they rise in a mostly uneventful ride. The boy is relieved the lady has not approached him in her usual manner. She exits the elevator car first, grinding her teeth, a vertical mumble lower than breath: 'Next time, it will be nice to see you.'

        The boy reaches the 'room to the far right'. The eraser venom teacher spins to face the boy. 'Can I help you?'

        He notices the irregular and deep grooves of future-past children's long survival scrapes across the classroom floor. Their 'shadow of incineration' shows, but their desks and chairs have vanished. The blackboard instructions erased over and over, the deconstructed chalk smears thick and without edges.

In the middle of the classroom, facing the venom teacher, holding the bag of Buttercups and maggots, the boy intensely quaking, desiring more to flee back to Lachine branded as a defector and a rejecter of duty than to stand in the perfect center of the 'room to the far right'.

On the floor above, the correct 'tenth' floor, two nude, oiled elderly men in an empty right room, save for confabulations, plasticware, and a plastic funnel. The funnel is stained with blood, and is fit to fit a human or two. The funnel is dimly illumined by the frontal interrogation of the red light bulb in a metallic work lamp. The men squeeze one another as they spy on the boy a floor below through the urethra of the funnel. We understand that one of the men is Vemuri and the other is Cantori when Vemuri says to Cantori, while rubbing against the other's leg, 'A-ha. Finally here is our order. Get ready, Cantori, the boy won't ever be the same once we get through with him.'

        Cantori and Vemuri, housed in the gruesome funnel, stomp its bottom out and plummet to the floor below, toppling the boy. The classroom floor weakens and Cantori, Vemuri, and the boy fall through its splintered gash. Then the next floor, the next floor, the next floor… battering their skulls and batting towards immediate brain injury.         Vemuri severs one joint per finger per floor. By the end of the Fall, the boy has ten stubs per spiritual panic.


 After the Fall in the basement: mould eternality of tapenade wail; the dense foliage of foam, scum, brine, and tar.  exact head count of one million silent cannibals writhe in green

mucous walls

The eldest opens his mouth to howl out of pain, ending

silent service