Flash Fiction, Short Fiction

The Little Parasite that Could

biPolar by marziiporn

biPolar by marziiporn

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Kama, who woke up with a start at a park bench in downtown Toronto, on a cold, icy morning in February. It took her five minutes to open her purse because her fingers were frozen solid in hues of blue. The screen of her cellphone was cracked, which was typical. She never had a phone that lasted more than a year, which was why cellphone companies loved her. They were always turning into vagabonds – running away from her no matter how hard she tried to hold on to them. Somewhere in the abyss of her apartment was a black hole that held all her lost things – 70% of which were old cellphones, that held inside them – text messages and forgotten narratives of old friends.

But today, Kama awoke – curled up in a park bench in downtown Toronto, her short skirt exposing her bare legs wrapped in fishnet stockings. Oasis was definitely packed the night before, and the last thing she remembered was ordering her fifth Long Island Iced Tea as a cute boy with blonde curls leaned in close to whisper, “Let’s go to the red room”. It was a manic blur after that, an elevated sense of being in which she was no longer a part of – slowly actions took over in which she had no say, words spilled out of a mouth that used to be hers.

The first thing thing that springs into Kama’s mind – even when she wakes in her own bed and not strange places – unfamiliar ceilings that began to multiply in number within the last months – is: You are you.  You are still here. Her own personal declaration to a mind that was slowly but surely, betraying her. Kama had wanted to play it down – even though she wanted to ask more times just to make sure, she only asked once – once at a fetish party, as her boyfriend clasped the collar he had bought for her tightly around her neck, she gathered all her strength to ask: “Am I still me? Is this what’s happening now? Is this who I’ve become?”

He turned her around, smiled and said, “It looks great on you! Do you want a picture?” So she smiled as he took her picture.

Because what she was certain of, the thought marked on her face, forever immortalized by the picture he took, one Saturday evening, was that sometime in December, in the midst of an ice storm that rendered half the city without power, hundreds of homes immersed in darkness, shut all the way back to the Stone Age, a parasite born from the cold had crawled inside her ear and nestled in her brain. Feeding on her creativity and passion, it began to multiply, slowly making its way inside her body, through her veins, controlling her in every way possible: her mouth would talk for her, her hands would reach for her, her brain would think for her.

Kama was certain that there was something inside her mind that she could not take out. It was a physical entity – it had to be, because it having form meant it could be removed, she could be cured. Someone can open her brain, scoop the parasite out, put it in a jar so that it could be studied and just like that – she could be normal. She could have control over her mind and she could become certain once again that her decision were hers, because her mind could be trusted, was capable and empowered. It had to be something equally unbelievable as an alien parasite – because what’s science fiction is admitting to herself that her life’s achievements and decisions were the result of her own mental incapacity – was what’s ridiculous, was what’s truly unbelievable.

Kama finally managed to turn her phone on to look for the time. 7:36 AM. She began to ready herself for the long walk home. It had been such a long time since she slept. She hoped she had more than three hours sleep last night although she can never be sure. It didn’t feel like she just woke up. It didn’t feel like she ever slept. The parasite slept for her. It ate for her. It lived for her.

That lent her a touch of invincibility – having no power over anything that happened to her body and mind. All she could do was gaze from eyes that were once hers, and scream silently to anyone who would listen: “Am I still me?

Is this what’s happening now?

Is this who I’ve become?

Flash Fiction

I was swimmin’ in the Carribean

Where is My Mind by Menco

Where is My Mind by Menco

When they were 16, she brought five friends to the basement of her parents’ house so that they could watch Fight Club. She had seen it the night before and made it her personal mission to spread the good word. By the time the movie was finished, only one person out of the five stayed awake. He said he completely loved the movie – especially the ending – and what was that song playing in the background?

By the time they were 20, the couple was fully learned in the lingo of The Pixies. Doolittle was their absolute favourite album of all time, and they even watched Un Chien Andalou just to figure out what Debaser was about, one soft Saturday night, falling asleep in each other’s arms right afterwards, content to be surrealist film critics even for just a day.

At their first apartment together, the first thing they unpacked were the speakers. The whole place blared of The Pixies while the couple painted their walls yellow.

They watched the band live in Toronto at the Massey Hall. She danced furiously, unapologetically, even more relentless after the old man beside her suddenly stiffened. He continued to throw her annoyed glances throughout the night – so she danced even harder. They had both listened to nothing but The Pixies for a whole month before the concert started – and so they sang and danced to every song the band played that night.

Before the show started, they held hands while they smoked a joint in an alleyway, keeping their eyes out for unsavoury characters. They shared a beer at a local pub after the show, and caught the last GO Train back home. She kept her headphones on while she placed her head on his shoulder on the way back home, listening to the concert they just heard. He did the same.

When they were 22, a friend drowned at a local beach. Where is My Mind suddenly was in poor taste.

The Pixies became an old thing – an archetype of the past. Though every time she opened her wallet, it was the old ticket stub from their last concert that she saw first.

After she was diagnosed at a mental hospital, Where is My Mind suddenly resurfaced, back in full force. She began to see old things in new perspectives – always with the careful meditation and awareness that we choose the things we do because it is a part of our becoming – that there is beauty and pathos even in the mundane – and that love is neither elevated nor transformative: It is a human state built with labour, as a result of the conscious decision of your will, your wit, and your heart.