Subcutaneous Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 54

the window. She said her last silent prayer and the thing scurried up the wall and out the window leaving a stinking trail of mucus and blood. Alice closed the window and went to bed. Carrie woke the next day for just long enough to call Steve. She would not be able to make it in today. She was too sick. She might need a few days. Then she went back to sleep and she stayed in her bed for three days. Shen she woke up, she ate every pack of ramen noodles she had and an entire jar of peanut butter. She ate like she’d never eaten, scoured her entire kitchen. Then she showered and went to work. She’d never felt better in her life. She felt entirely cleansed, but also felt confident that she could handle whatever emotions might come up in the future. That afternoon, happy to be back to work, Carrie was chatting with Steve in the prep room when Morris wheeled in another body. He warned them that this was a bad one. Horrible smell, bad damage done to the face. Animal attack. Carrie looked at the corpse. The smell was indee d terrible, but the mutilated face was the worst part. The jaw was stretched apart, the cheeks torn. There were deep gouges that looked like something had clawed or scratched him with talons. She pictured the phallic, spider-legged creature she’d birthed, imagined it forcing itself down somebody’s throat, legs scrabbling at their face and eyes in a complete reversal of what she’d gone through. Even though the face was brutally mutilated, and even though it had been many years, Carrie knew him immediately. She knew then that she would no longer need to pick, that the revulsion was no longer present or necessary. In her head she whispered and silent thanks to void and she happily went to work on her father’s dead friend Bill. Photographer: Michelle Engberg Photography Model: Chelsea Claire