There was something wrong with the woman walking towards me. Her head floated above her body on a long stalk of a neck. Like a snail’s eye. Like it could retreat into itself at any moment. Her head bobbed there, tethered into the stolid little body by that stretching neck, the neck with soft white skin speckled like a flour tortilla, that neck that bulged with blue veins like blue earthworms.
I watched her come closer, the cold of the bench soaking through my thick winter jacket.
Her eyes were painted onto her head. Her body wasn’t moving but it was coming towards me all the same She walked straight ahead, not looking anywhere but straight ahead, her eyes straight ahead. Round brown holes with blue paint above them, red painted mouth in a permanent O of surprise.
I felt frightened.
Could it see me?
One of the rats that inhabited the park humped across the path in front of her.
Her head exploded with a shocking pop. Just a balloon. Her body crumpled to the ground and all that was left was a pile of clothes and bits of pale balloon rubber.
Birds ate the bits of rubber and it tangled in their tiny tummies. They dropped out of the trees for weeks, gasping and dying.