Friday
May192017

Little Skin Bag

Bridget Brewer


 

Little Skin Bag stood on the stoop, trying to shove the ghost back into her mouth. It was a slippery ghost. It squeaked its tail out of her mouth, picked a piece of spinach from her teeth, yawned.

"Fuck off," hissed Little Skin Bag.

Inside the apartment she could hear Cubist spinning disco classics. Shadows of arms akimbo splashed onto the covered windowpanes; every so often a strobe light flashed pink. The ghost laughed in her face with late-night tuna breath. "Too late," declared the ghost. If the ghost had knuckles, it would be cracking them one by one. "Go home and smoke from your roof until your lungs get so black you deflate and fall to your small, pitiful death."

"No. This was a butt-dial," said Little Skin Bag. "Metaphorically."

"The world will be grateful if you never enter this lame shindig," sang the ghost.

This was not going to be like last time. She was not going to freak out. She was not going to get deleted from address books, or email chains, or Instagram feeds, or whatever. She would not be a pariah. "Stop freaking me out," she said. "Merry Wife will be here. She likes me."

"Merry Wife," spat the ghost.

"I think she'll leave him," said Little Skin Bag.

"Really."

"You didn't see her face last time," said Little Skin Bag.

"You are so cute," said the ghost. "So cute and so ugly. Not even your mother loves your cute ugly mug."

"Shut up," said Little Skin Bag. "They're coming."

The front door wrenched open. Lips and Right Tit.  Black liquid spilled from their red plastic cups. They wore leopard-print dresses tight enough that Little Skin Bag could see pubic bones pronouncing themselves between two pairs of healthy, full thighs. Their mouths were laughing.

"Oh thank God," said Lips, her trademark shade smeared all over her teeth. She swatted playfully at Little Skin Bag's arm. "That suede! Ugh. What took you so long!"

"Totally," said Little Skin Bag. She held up her six-pack, which had by now dripped a lake onto the concrete step.

"Oh, I love swill!"

Right Tit grabbed her by the collar and yanked her inside.

"Where's Left Tit?" said Little Skin Bag in the foyer. She blinked four times. It felt like one time too many.

"Stop blinking so much," said the ghost into her ear hair.

"You know her," said Right Tit. "She'd rather watch documentaries about fish. Besides," she added, rubbing her right nipple, "there's only room at this party for one twin, you know?"  

Lips nodded, nose scrunched. Little Skin Bag tried not to cringe. She really hated when Right Tit got too drunk. "And Merry Wife?" she asked, going for nonchalant.

"Oh sweetheart," laughed Right Tit. "Merry Wife might not even come, something about Gutting Man being over disco."

Lips rolled her eyes. "He'll show up for the Boar, though."

"There's a Boar at this party?" said Little Skin Bag.

"Totally," said Right Tit.

Lips patted her cheek. "Merry Wife knows where you are. Soon we'll bring out the Boar and you can face fuck that."

Little Skin Bag flushed an ugly color; the ghost rubbed itself on her eczema. She scratched at the patch and a few flakes fell loose onto her shoulders. A roar sounded from the kitchen.

"Oh!" cried Lips and Right Tit.

"I'm gonna go find Cubist," said Little Skin Bag.

"Chill." They nodded.

Little Skin Bag passed through the beaded curtain and into the disco room.

Posters of naked Art Deco models and bands with names like Scourge and Pubic had been taped to the walls. The dance floor was packed with bodies. It stank of spit and sweating creases. From the ceiling hung a black light. She could feel it leeching the color from her skin. She had to get into better lighting, or everyone would think she was always this ugly. She moved towards the back corner.

Cubist was DJing next to a window that had been taped up with cardboard. A pair of white headphones clamped onto his square ears. Little Skin Bag liked Cubist. She watched him swivel his body and thought he was doing an okay job of DJing so far. She was happy for him. Another wave of cheers went up for Chaka Khan. She waved and stepped onto the platform beside his setup.

"Hey hey," yelled Cubist over the music. "Looking mighty baggy tonight."

"Always," answered Little Skin Bag, and she bit down on Cubist's shoulder. "Cool track."

Cubist laughed. "Where's your sweetie?"

Little Skin Bag bit harder.

"Don't you worry." Cubist slid some dials down and up again. "Your secret is safe with me."

Little Skin Bag looked up and happened to catch Collarbone and Carpet stuffing hands through each other's hair. She looked at Cubist and raised an eyebrow.

"It's cool," he said, although his mouth made a movement. "We're not together anymore." He transitioned into a Bhangra classic.

"Hey," she said. "There's a Boar at this party."

"I know!" said Cubist.

"Is it fun, to do the whole Boar thing?" said Little Skin Bag.

Cubist winked at her. "Of course it's fun," he said. "It's their job to make it fun."

Little Skin Bag kissed him on the stubbly cheek and hopped down again. The Oriental area rug under her feet was soaked with liquor slime.

"You know Merry Wife might already be here with Gutting Man," said the ghost. "They might be fucking upstairs in Lips's shower."

"Shut up," said Little Skin Bag. A gust of wind blew up her ponytail and puffed her body. There was a fan in the corner. She knew she should've worn a regular t-shirt. Something that didn't flip so easy. She held down her edges and hoped no one had seen.

The ghost slung a leg from her ear ledge. "You are so ugly under there."

Her skin hurt.

"You should stick your finger down your own throat and pull out your intestines so you stop looking so fat," the ghost suggested.

She wished she could spit into the ghost's mouth. She slid her way through the bodies and back through the veil of the beaded curtain.

Lips and Right Tit were still chatting, slapping each other and sloshing their drinks around, and Little Skin Bag didn't think she could handle anymore of that. She ducked through the swinging door to her right.

The kitchen was bright and the appliances were black and the surfaces were all made of marble. Lips had told Little Skin Bag when she was redoing her kitchen that she liked marble countertops more than any other surface because marble made Lips feel sexy and cold. Little Skin Bag ran a fingertip along a surface. It did feel erotic. She imagined chopping carrots with a nice knife, the sound of blade on polished stone echoing throughout the kitchen.

"Hey, can you open a window?"

Little Skin Bag peered over the other side of the kitchen island. The Boar was there, lying on the tiled floor, legs bound together with white rope.

"Sure thing," said Little Skin Bag, and she walked over to the sink, leaned across the faucet, and popped open the small window there. A wind burst through the opening. The Boar closed its eyes.

"Thanks," said the Boar. "I needed that."

Little Skin Bag sank to the ground and hugged herself. If she had knees, she'd be resting her chin on their crests right now.

"Do you need some water or anything?" she asked the Boar.

The Boar shifted. "Can you turn me so that I can look at you? My eyeballs hurt."  

"Sure thing," said Little Skin Bag. She grabbed the Boar by the ankle and gave it a spin. The tusk touching the floor scraped in an unpleasant way, but now she could see the snout and the eyes.

"Thanks," said the Boar.

"No worries," said Little Skin Bag.

They sat for a moment.

"I haven't seen you around," said the Boar.

"Yeah," said Little Skin Bag, "this isn't normally my thing, but I'm supposed to be meeting someone here tonight."

"So you've never seen a Boar before?" said the Boar.

"No," replied Little Skin Bag. "I mean I've heard about it from other people, but I've never seen it in person."

"Well," grunted the Boar. "You'll have to let me know what you think. It isn't for everyone."

"Why not?" said Little Skin Bag.

"You'll see," said the Boar.

"Well, have you been doing this long?" said Little Skin Bag.

"A good while, anyway," said the Boar, rubbing its cheek on the tile. Little Skin Bag reached over and gave its chin a scratch. "Thanks. Yeah, I don't know, it pays the bills and whatever. I mean it sucks, but everything kind of sucks, so I might as well be making a shit ton of money on the party circuits."

"You don't make it sound that fun," said Little Skin Bag, growing uneasy. She could feel that the ghost wanted to make a remark, but she slapped her hair and it stayed quiet.

"That's because it isn't," said the Boar. "Not for me, anyway."

Little Skin Bag fingered her fringe. "What do you do when you aren't working the party circuits?"

The Boar moved its shoulders, which Little Skin Bag interpreted as a shrug. "I like to scream sometimes," it said. "Nothing great. I genuinely believe my screaming isn't worth any fanfare, but it feels good to fill your lungs up like that."

"Where do you like screaming the most?"

"There's a great quarry behind Ray's Auto," said the Boar. "Lots of pink boulders, a little stream when the wet season's in full swing. You can really hear yourself scream down there."

"Wow," said Little Skin Bag.

"Yeah," said the Boar. "What do you do when you're not doing whatever it is that you do?"

Little Skin Bag smoothed her suede and touched her lips to make sure her lip stain hadn't rubbed off. "Well I'm an office assistant at Hval's, but mostly I fuck psychopaths."

The Boar wheezed. "That seems destructive."

Little Skin Bag shifted. "I don't know, it passes the time. It's like you said, everything sucks, so I might as well have a lot of sex."

The Boar looked like it wanted to smile, if it didn't have two curved tusks marring the clean line of its mouth. "Where do you like fucking psychopaths the most?"

Little Skin Bag obliged. "In the dark. Like the real dark, not just a room without the lights on. You know what I mean? Like in geothermal caves on a new moon in the middle of a wolf winter, when light bounces off the snow and no clouds can trap it, and when almost everything is dead. Or in the desert in a canyon that's been dry for a hundred years and not even lizards like to be on those stones anymore."

The Boar raised an eyebrow. "Do you find yourself in conditions like that very often?"

Little Skin Bag shrugged her shoulders. She felt like she might be mirroring the Boar's body language. It felt exciting.

"Have you ever thought about not fucking psychopaths?" the Boar continued. "It seems challenging."

Little Skin Bag stuck her tongue in her cheek. "I mean what can you do, you know? Bodies are particular."

The Boar quieted, and Little Skin Bag shifted onto her other ass cheek. Her calves were beginning to fall asleep, but other than that, she liked talking with the Boar. As long as she didn't think about what would happen to it later, she could pretend it was pleasantly neutral. She felt bold.

"Do you want to see something?" said Little Skin Bag.

"Sure," said the Boar. "Just turn me again."

Little Skin Bag grabbed the Boar's tusk and turned it a little more, so that its black, wet eye stared directly up into her own face. She filled her lungs with a long kitchen breath.

"Don't tell anyone," said Little Skin Bag. Then she lifted the hem of her body and placed it over the Boar's head.

At first the Boar was silent. Little Skin Bag knew what it was going through. The Boar was bearing witness to the great, bleeding eye of her black abyss.

"Holy shit," Little Skin Bag heard from within her bodily space.

She lifted her hem and freed the Boar's head, pressing herself into herself once more. The Boar blinked a bunch.

"Why did you show me that?" asked the Boar. The hairs on its chin quivered. "That felt so personal just then. Do people see you often?"

"No," said Little Skin Bag. "We were having a moment or something. It felt right."

"Wow," said the Boar. "We really were."

They sat in silence.

"It looked so delicate in there," said the Boar.

"Thank you," said Little Skin Bag, touched.

"Don't get used to this," said the ghost, and Little Skin Bag jumped. Luckily, the Boar didn't notice. It was too busy looking down its own snout.

"If you untie me, I'll kiss you for free," said the Boar. "If we're having a moment. You could untie me. We could just put our lips together and be quiet and no one would know, and then I could leave. They pay me first, you know. I already have the money. It wouldn't be hard to catch a bus at this hour. The 89 still runs."

Little Skin Bag bit her thumb skin. "Come on," she said.

"Sure," said the Boar. "Sorry."

"No, I'm sorry," said Little Skin Bag.

"Listen," said the Boar, "would you mind leaving me alone? I have to mentally prepare myself for this job. I have to do a lot of mental calisthenics. I have to hide in my own unlit caves, you know? And I think it's happening soon. You understand."

Little Skin Bag nodded. She rose to her feet and tiptoed around the island. She slid open the glass door and slipped out into the backyard. Then she pressed it closed again.

"Hey."

Little Skin Bag froze.

"Fuck," said the ghost.

"It's Merry Wife," said Little Skin Bag to the ghost.

"Yeah," said the ghost.

"What do I do?" said Little Skin Bag.

"Kill yourself and hope that's enough," said the ghost.

Little Skin Bag turned around.

Merry Wife. Standing beside a night-blooming cereus. The bowl of the bloom of the nocturnal gooseneck cacti catching the light cast from the kitchen. Mouth so slick. Eyes so green. Nose so hooked. She wore a translucent black blouse tonight that showed every raised bump on her brown nipples. Her aureoles seemed as big as twin galaxies, and they bounced through the shroud of space beneath her blouse. Merry Wife was now giving her a look that made Little Skin Bag want to suck on her thumb. Her own, or Merry's, or anyone's, really, any thumb would do. Trying for bravado, Little Skin Bag said, "You finally turned up."

Merry Wife cocked her head. "You knew I would," she said, her words prowling into Little Skin Bag's ears, settling on their haunches inside her head, preparing to pounce.

"I don't know what you're going to do," said Little Skin Bag as best as she could.

"No," agreed Merry Wife. "You only hope. You little hopeful bag of skin." She stepped three steps closer.

"Run," said the ghost.

Little Skin Bag felt her back press against the glass. "Come on," she said. "Someone's going to see, and you don't want that, remember?"

"Don't act coy," said Merry Wife. Her feet screamed through the grass.

Little Skin Bag frowned. "You're not listening to me," she said. "I said no more until you break up with Gutting Man."

Merry Wife rolled her eyes. "What he doesn't know," she said. Little Skin Bag only now saw the set of brass rings that Merry Wife wore on her fingers. Little Skin Bag regretted ever leaving the kitchen.

"He said he would gut me," said Little Skin Bag. "Don't you care?"

Merry Wife was close enough to bite her now. She blew a piece of hair off Little Skin Bag's nose. "Not really," she said, in the voice she used when she was also saying eight other things.

Little Skin Bag closed her eyes. She tried to remember how she'd felt only minutes ago.

"The Boar is ready!"

A cheer erupted from the house. Cubist could be heard screeching the records to a halt. Little Skin Bag took the opportunity to throw open the glass door once more and throw herself back into the kitchen. It now stank of wet yeast and singed fur and hair spray. The crowd had gathered in a circle around the island. She could hear grunts, squeals, loud smacks. She made her way to the front of the crowd. She took a deep breath and tried to hold the air in for as long as possible. She looked up.

Up on the island, Lips and Right Tit were having a go at the Boar. Right Tit screamed with delight as she rode its wiry-haired back, her bare legs gleaming in the bright kitchen light. Lips knelt in front of the Boar's snout and frenched it with her tongue. Her dress hugged her ass so tight everyone could see the lines of her thong, and most of the eyes were upon this shape. The crowd roared. Money began changing palms. Even Cubist was applauding while Collarbone and Carpet both stroked his square head. Little Skin Bag felt like the only one who could see the Boar's eyes leaked a strange black sludge. Its tusks had been sawed off too close to the bone; the small nubs bled. Lips had done a terrible job at the de-tusking. Little Skin Bag looked away, trying not to feel so nauseous, but Merry Wife stood across from her, staring back. Little Skin Bag swallowed a lump down her throat. That gaze felt like fish hooks digging into her eyelids.

Now Gutting Man emerged from the throng, robed in his usual red. The spurs on his boots made audible clinks. Without taking his eyes off the Boar, he placed one hand on the back of Merry Wife's neck. The other hand lifted the edge of his shirt and scratched at what appeared to be a fresh wound. He tore off the coat of scab; a small tear of blood trickled into the lip of his jeans.

"Fuck," hissed the ghost in her ear. "He knows."

"He does not know," said Little Skin Bag. "He doesn't know anything. He's an asshole. Look at those spurs, for fuck's sake. He's a rock. That rock doesn't know shit."

Lips wobbled to her feet again, as if pedestaled, to the raucous applause of the mob.

"Seven whole minutes!" they cried.

"A new record!"

"Three extra points for Right Tit riding its back!"

The Boar lowered its snout, hooves clacking on the marble. Marble no longer seemed erotic to Little Skin Bag.

Lips wiped her wobbly mouth. She held a hand out to Right Tit and they both clambered down from the island.

"Your turn!" she cried, and pointed right at Little Skin Bag. "French the Boar! French the Boar!"

"French the Boar!" everyone else began to chant.

"I hate parties," said the ghost.

"I'm going to die," said Little Skin Bag.

She looked at the Boar. The Boar looked at her. The Boar seemed miserable. Or maybe Little Skin Bag was only projecting.

She put a hand on the back of her neck. She brought the Boar to the edge of the island.

"I'm sorry," she said to the Boar.

"Not sorry enough to stop," said the Boar, front teeth so pink it broke Little Skin Bag's heart.

"You're right," she said, and placed mouth on snout.

The Boar tasted primarily like that night in The Purest Club when Little Skin Bag and Merry Wife had split a dose of molly and finger-fucked each other in front of the leopard skin nailed to the red, flaking wall. They'd kissed sloppily, heavily, enough to pretend they were devouring one another and skewering one another like kebabs, and this was what the Boar tasted like. The Boar tasted like that feeling. The Boar tasted like the desire for a true dark meat. Little Skin Bag held her mouth as still as possible and kept her eyes shut. I'm sorry, she tried to think at the Boar.

"French the Boar, Skin Bag!" she heard Right Tit shouting. "Or it doesn't count!"

"Jesus," said the ghost. "Still glad you came?"

The Boar's front teeth were clenched together and it was impossible to pry them open, no matter how Little Skin Bag cajoled with her tongue, so she settled for making it look like they were tonguing. She rubbed her tongue along the bristled lips, trying not to gag on a stray piece of the Boar's hair. How many minutes had it been? How long could they both hang on? She forgot what she was doing and opened her eyes. The Boar was weeping its black sludge. The wounded nubs where its tusks once curved had reopened and were beginning to bleed.

"Let me help," Little Skin Bag heard Merry Wife say from somewhere beyond this circle of shame. Little Skin Bag felt breasts press into her back, her hair parting at her ear shell.

"Let's have some fun," said Merry Wife.

Little Skin Bag watched Merry Wife's hand reach towards the Boar's ass.

"No!" said Little Skin Bag, but her mouth was full of Boar, and it came out as a gurgle. Merry Wife rubbed herself against Little Skin Bag's back.

"Take it," said Merry Wife. "Both of you."

Little Skin Bag watched in horror as Merry Wife plunged a finger into the Boar's asshole. Then Little Skin Bag swallowed the Boar's screams of pain. She felt sick. She closed her eyes again. She couldn't keep them closed. She opened them. She closed them. She opened them.

"That's right," said Merry Wife. "Remember what I can do to you."

Little Skin Bag tapped the Boar beneath its chin. The Boar looked up, weeping, screaming, tuskless.

"On the count of three," said Little Skin Bag into its teeth, "hide in me like before."

The Boar's eyes were too wide to widen more.

"Wait," said the ghost in her ear.

"One," said Little Skin Bag.

"More!" yelled Lips.

"What are you doing?" said the ghost.

"Two," said Little Skin Bag.

"Do more!" yelled Right Tit.

"Don't you dare," said the ghost.

"Three," said Little Skin Bag.

"You like this," said Merry Wife.

"Now," said Little Skin Bag.

"Fuck," said the ghost.

Little Skin Bag lifted her hem and swallowed the Boar. The island emptied. The crowd roared.

"This isn't going to go well," said the ghost from her earlobe.

"Where is the Boar?" screamed Lips. The neck of her dress had been shoved down below her chest and her nipple glared at Little Skin Bag like a wide, brown eye, a kiss bruise blooming on the base of her throat. Little Skin Bag gulped. She felt the material of her abyss shifting.

"Oh God, I'm getting that Boar out of here," said the ghost.

Don't you dare, she thought. I can do this.

"Hey," called the Boar from inside her. "My foot's stuck in your artery."

Little Skin Bag bit down on her tongue. She had to hold herself together.

Merry Wife wrapped her hands around her jaw and yanked her head back. "Are you fucking stupid?" Merry Wife hissed. "Bring the Boar back so we can finish."

Little Skin Bag bit herself harder. Her spit tasted metallic now.

"Hey, something's happening," said the Boar inside her. Her bag body vibrated. Fuck, she thought.

"Jesus fucking Christ, why didn't you just rip your intestines out when you had the chance," said the ghost, now deep inside her ear canal. "You are going to fail." Little Skin Bag shuddered. She felt achy.  

Merry Wife was clawing at her bag of skin. "Bring it back!" she said, desperation creeping into her voice.

"My hoofs!" Little Skin Bag closed her eyes, blood spilling into the trough of her mouth. She could picture the Boar staring cross-eyed at its feet, the abyss of her consuming the cartilage from her own membranous fibers. Her hands were cramping with the weight of her edges.

"Skin Bag," said the ghost. "Skin Bag, you have to stop, its legs are melting."

Little Skin Bag grimaced, swallowed.

Suddenly she felt a coldness, an absence behind her. She opened her eyes and turned around. Merry Wife had been dragged back into the arms of the angry crowd, and Gutting Man was bearing down on her with a hooked fingernail, his shirt bearing a perfect line of his own blood. Little Skin Bag opened her mouth.

"If you say anything, you'll lose concentration and the Boar will disappear," said the ghost, sliding around in her frontal lobe. "Which are you saving today? The Boar or Merry Wife?"

Little Skin Bag clamped her lips.

"It's sticky in here," said the Boar, "it's sticking to me, I can't move, it's freaking me out, I'm sinking or melting or something."

"Skin Bag, let the Boar out now," said the ghost.

Little Skin Bag wished she could pet the Boar's bristled head and kiss its snout. She held herself together. Just let me get outside, she thought. Let me get outside and set it free.

"You're not gonna make it, you fucking idiot, let it out! Skin Bag!" The ghost ricocheted down and over her deviated septum.

Gutting Man advanced on her now. He brought his face close to hers. She was swollen with melting Boar. He could see her ballooning. She held down her edges. She held them down.

"What did I tell you," said Gutting Man.

The Boar struggled within her. Her trachea burned with ghost tail.

"Oh shit," said the ghost. "Oh shit. Come on. Shit."

"Gut her!" cried Right Tit.

Gutting Man grinned. He still had Merry Wife under his fingernails.

"Help!" gasped the Boar. She couldn't feel any more of its kicks. Her abyss must be up to its shoulders now.

Hold yourself together.

Gutting Man held up a finger.

"Where am I going!" cried the Boar.

"Skin Bag," said the ghost.

"It's time to gut you," said Gutting Man.

Little Skin Bag bit off the tip of her tongue. It was all she could think to do. She spat herself into his face, and the tip of her tongue slapped the tip of his nose and tumbled onto the marble tiled floor. Gutting Man blinked, his cheek streaked with black. Bits of her abyss pooled in the dip above his lip.

"Please!" said the Boar.

Little Skin Bag clenched down.

"Oh," said the ghost.

Gutting Man plunged a needled claw into her suede and dragged down. The crowd around him cheered.

"Fuck," said the ghost.

"Bag!" cried Cubist.

The Boar was silent.

Little Skin Bag slumped. Her abyss spilled from her suede and leaked all over the marble in a pool. It crept towards the first pair of shoes, and the owner bent down to gather it in his hands and rub it into his arms. A lung of hers peeked out, sparkling like black diamonds. The Boar was nowhere to be seen. Gutting Man reached out.

"It's gone," she said. "It isn't here anymore." When she burped, phantasmic bile rose to her molars.

Cubist knelt beside her and held her hand. "What are you doing?" he whispered.

"What did you do with it?" Gutting Man snarled.

Little Skin Bag shrugged. Her eyes felt hot and tender and her skin bag burned at the site of the wound.

"We paid good money for that Boar!" said Right Tit.

"Finish her off!" yelled someone Little Skin Bag didn't know.

Little Skin Bag looked down at her new slit. The mess of her was spattered everywhere. She brought her hands through it. Like black sand, like a fine oil, the texture uncontainable. The ghost curled around her heart muscle, silent. The Boar was somewhere in her. It would never get free. She could close her eyes or keep them open and it wouldn't make a lick of difference.

"What is all this shit?" said Gutting Man, disgust giving him pause.

"True dark meat," said Little Skin Bag, as if from a great distance. She wondered if Lips had special cleaning supplies to get abyss out of marble grout. She wondered if Merry Wife still had asshole gunk on her finger. She wondered what Merry Wife looked like gutted. She tried to look around Gutting Man's form. She couldn't see.

"I'm going to finish you now," said Gutting Man. His grin was back, even with her abyss splattered all over his nice button down. "This is a party, after all."

Little Skin Bag looked around her. Cups were raised high, fresh coats of lipstick were painted onto mouths, hair had been teased into disco shapes and thighs in white pants had formed a forest and she could barely recognize anyone through the angry thicket. Everyone was yelling at her; everyone was saying something. This was a party. And inside her abyss, Little Skin Bag felt a Boar stampede. Where you're running, she thought to the Boar of her, you can make light stick to you forever. That's what it means to fuck a psychopath in deep dark: to look for light that will stick, even when the earth refuses to be hospitable. There's light where you're headed. I did a good thing, right? Didn't I?

Little Skin Bag looked down. She cupped herself and brought it up to her mouth.

"You can scream if you'd like," said Little Skin Bag to the Boar hiding inside herself.

"Go ahead," said Little Skin Bag.

"Make it a good one," said Little Skin Bag.

Gutting Man bore down.