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Works of fiction and poetry by friends of Bamboo Ridge Press.

YEAR OF THE SNAKE CONTEST

REM Sleep

Published by JIM HARSTAD | Thursday, October 24, 2013 7:03 AM


I live in a mature neighborhood — old people, night sirens: 298 words


Somebody turns the lights on full glare right over his bed, right into his face. "Hey, what's up?" he hears himself say. "What're you doing up?"

"Herman! Her-man, how are you? How do you feel? Are you all right?"

"Why wouldn't I be all right? What's happening?"

"You don't remember a thing?"

"About what?" He notices his tee shirt is wringing wet with sweat. He notices the sirens, more than one, closing in."

"You were making these loud, wheezing moans. And then you . . . stopped . . . everything. I thought you'd . . . I called 911."

"Just because you are grotesquely fat doesn't obligate you to be an asshole! Why'd you call 911?" he shouts. "Now that I think about it, it's probably because you are an asshole that you are fat and grotesque."

Neither fat nor grotesque, she replies, "I'm sorry. I never looked at it that way. I just thought people didn't like me."

"Well think about it," he says. "Not all baby poop looks like pumpkin pie."

"What's that supposed to mean? I thought you were dying. Are you sure you're OK?"

"I was hoping you'd tell me."

"Just remember that not all peaches are good to eat," she avers.

"Now she tells me," he states. "You know why you're an asshole?"

"I'm grotesquely fat?"

"And . . .?"

"And I called 911?"

"My point exactly."

"Thank you. I've always wondered. And now that you're breathing again, please try to have a nice day."

"I think I just had one," he says and dims the light on his way to finding a dry shirt and greeting the sirens.

"Herman?"

"What?"

"Shouldn't you put on a dry shirt? Before you tell them you're not dead?"

"You're gorgeous," he says. "I adore you. I'll never forget you."

"Why would you?" she sighs. "I'm not going anywhere."



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