by Lee Douglas
Right now you look at a clock. This story is happening now.
Your desire is to bring the word "time" into your apartment, lay down some newspaper and cut it apart with the axe you keep behind the bookshelf. What do you do with these sections of time? You're like the dog that catches the truck. You've never gotten this far before.
You stuff the letter "t" into your mouth. It tastes like the underbelly of a rock you picked up and licked in the early years of your time here on earth. It's moist and cool. You gag. You swallow it.
Do you Tell-Tale Heart the rest of time? Under the floorboards? In the ceiling? You decide to flush the chopped up bits of time. You gather up the rest of time and run to the bathroom. As you flush the "i" down you know people will ask you where time went. They need time. If they find out what you did to her... You blink. Time is a woman. You just now notice. Her eye is swirling down the stained toilet bowl. You stand and stare at yourself in the mirror. Time's blood is in your teeth.
The knock at the door makes you jump. You scream "One second!" and start brushing your teeth. You do a terrible job, but you have to hide the rest of time. You grab her "m" and "e" and hide them behind the bookshelf with the axe.
"Hello." You mumble.
"Time has disappeared." He says.
"Can I come in?" He says.
You don't answer. You have no sense of how long you can take to answer. Remember you killed time. Tore her apart. Ate her. Flushed her down the toilet. Hid her body behind the--
"You son of a bitch, you did this! You killed her."
You don't understand. One second he was in front of you and the next he was snatching at the pieces of time behind the bookshelf. How does time work now?
"What have you done?" He says.
"My desire was to--"
"Who gives a fuck about your desire. Time is dead."
He freezes. You blink. Look down at his feet. Up at his snarling jowls. He's frozen mid-sentence. "Time is dead," you say.
You must've done this to him. You step around him. Grab the axe. Turn around. He's gone. Obviously you don't know how to control time. "Well, shit." You say.
You wonder what to do with the rest of time. Her "m" and "e" spread across the floor for days, hours, years, you can't say. You killed her so now you have her power. You try and freeze time to decide what exactly you should do with the rest of her.
You fast forwarded time. You know this because your landlord is banging on the door demanding the rent. You haven't had time to go to work.
"One second!" You call through the door. You don't try and freeze time again. You grab the axe. Open the door.
"Where's my mo--"
You show him the axe.
"I'm calling the police."
You tap the axe against the door.
You're in control of time now. You don't worry.
You shut the door. Grab the bits of time left on the floor and decide that to eat her is the best way to get rid of her. Before you can consume her the police have your arms and legs and you're screaming "Let me go!" and they say things like "Psychopath. Demon. Asshole."
The police don't freeze. They move fast. So fast that right now you're in prison and it's been three years since you chopped up time and tasted her. You blink. Things are slow speed now. The drip from the toilet falls every hour. The guard jeering at you takes fifteen minutes to get the first sound in "cunt" out of his mouth. And he's standing so close to the bars you can grab his keys and unlock your cell before he finishes the word.
You travel to your apartment through rapid speed. You want time to go backward. So you can eat the rest of time because she was the most unique taste you ever remember. You concentrate. Concentrate on going backwards. To the beginning.
You look at a clock now. Time has passed, but if you go back you can taste her again. So just go and begin the story. This story is happening now. Begin.
Lee Douglas is attending the MFA Creative Writing program at Lindenwood University and is a graduate of Missouri Western State University. He has been published in Abomination Magazine, The New Writer, and See Spot Run.