Subcutaneous Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 52

that might be listening, to imbue her pitiful tissue with whatever diseased power her usual tonsiloliths seemed to have. She went to bed, hopeful. It worked better than she’d expected. The crumpled tissue soaked up filth like a sponge and mixed with the bacteria that had started to infest her ravaged and infected tonsils. After three days, the clump had hardened and doubled in size. It was black with blood,but marbled with streaks and clumps of the usual pale green stinking calcification. Carrie smeared the mass between her fingers, the thick stench almost choking her. As soon as she was done, reeling with relief, she set to crumpling up new tissue wads, one for each side.After wedging the first, she thought back to her silent prayer. She flattened out the second wad of tissue, pulled her pen from her pocket and wrote “thanks” on it in tiny letters. She drew a tiny inverted pentagram, tearing the thin material as she did. When she crumpled this one up, the ink had smeared through and it looked slightly greasy. As she poked it deep into the crypt of her tonsil cave, she thought about blood poisoning, infections, scarring, about all the things that could go wrong because of this. Then she thought fuck it, and went to bed. That night she dreamt that the corruption in her tonsil was hungry, that the tissue she’d been feeding it was a start, but that it was not enough. It was as if she was feeling a new kind of need, an alien need. It was as strong as thirst, hunger or lust, like the need to breath. It was like the need to escape she’d always felt in response to the revulsion, but it had taken the form of a hunger. She woke in a cold sweat, the feeling slowly slipping away. Days went by in a blur. Two or three times a week she would stuff her tonsils, then removed the infected, pus laden clots when they were ready. She started to think of her throat as a hungry friend who she was feeding, and in return it was cleansing her and helping her cope with the grotesque memories that she’d been fighting for so long. She prepared corpses as they came into the parlor, chewed gum to hide her vile breath when she met with mourners, and still called her mother once a week. One evening, as she was finishing her ramen noodles, a spider scuttled out from under the fridge. It was massive, black and faster than it had any business being. She crushed it with a book then scraped it off with a paper towel. As she did, she felt a shiver of revulsion pass through her, and a terrible idea came to her. That’s what it’s about, really, she thought. Revulsion. When it was her own self inflicted revulsion, stemming from something that she could control, it helped her deal with the waves of revulsion she’d always felt. Just then, she was struck by that same sense of need in the back of her throat, that hunger. Without thinking about it, indulging entirely in the disgust, she wiped the guts and thick long legs with her finger, reached into her mouth and squeezed the mess into her tonsil. Carrie almost vomited. Her whole body was wracked with shudders so violent they were almost orgasmic. Her back arched as she fought the urge to get the horrible mass out of her. She held it there, mild and nutty sweetness seeping into her mouth. She swallowed, clenching her abdominal muscles to prevent the waves of reverse peristalsis. Then, as the rushing urge to regurgitate passed, she was filled with calm and satisfaction. She felt in complete control. A few days later, when she went to purge the spider, she could see that it was built up and swollen to the point that it was stretching her translucent pink flesh. She could see the finger-like legs encased in pale paste. She decided to leave this one a little longer to see how it developed. For several days, as she enjoyed the tight throb of swollen meat in her throat, Carrie considered other ways she could indulge the hunger for disgust. She ruptured a deep, solid blackhead on her forehead. Gagging, she added the wormlike tube of pus to the growing knob of purulent pus in her tonsil. Her breath worsened daily, and she often felt feverish, but she felt a comfortable insulation from her emotions and, more importantly, the revulsion. She said silent, hateful prayers to the void as she packed more vile substances into herself. Carrie’s throat was swelling to the extent that it became difficult to speak. Steve asked if she wanted to take a week off, but she refused. He told her to keep to the preparation room, which she thought of as the lab, whenever there were mourners around, and he kept his distance in case she was contagious. This isolation in the lab created the space for the final addition to the mass that was growing into the back of her mouth. It was three in the afternoon when Steve and Morris, another employee, wheeled in another body. Carrie was waiting for embalming fluid to fill the veins of an elderly woman on the stainless steel operating table and tinkering with the makeup on a middle aged man on the changing table. Three in a day was busy, but Carrie didn’t mind. She enjoyed her work. Steve left the body in her care, went upstairs and began to close up. Carrie was to stay late, long enough until the new body was cleaned and embalmed. She finished 5̸AɭȰ͕ѡɅձЁѼ)ȁѼхѡ͡ѕѡ܁)ѼѡɅѥхٕ剽䁵ٕ́) ɥѡ՝а̸ͥUѥͽ䁝)ɥ($)M啐ѡѡх!݅́չ)ٕݕЁЁЁ͔!݅́ݕɥѡѡ)e聝ɕ䁩̰ݡєѕ͡)ͽ1ЁЁѡ)չȁȁձаѡɅ٥ȁѡɽѕՔM)ѡ՝Ё ݡЁѼȸM)ݥѠɥѡЁ͡յѼѡ)Ёɽչͽɍɕձٕͥ͡ȁݽձ ɔ͡ձ͕Օ́ȁɔѡɽ)ձɅȁɍȁ݅䰁͡ѕ ɥ)՝ѡ݅щݸٕȁѡ͕́ɽэ)ѽѼȁѠ!́́݅́͵)٥!ȁѥɔ݅́ɝȁѼٽаѼոѼ)͍ɕЁѡ͡͝Ё͡иQե́ѡ)ѡ݅́ȁѼ͕ͱݱ)ѼѡȁѠͽȁ)͕ɥMձ͵ѡ((