Two-Headed Mama

Flash Fiction by Mitchell Grabois Art by Jess Millerfinished small figure of michael the bodybuilder sitting cross-legged


I was born naked, cold, hungry. Then things got worse. My two-headed mother tried to rip me in half using only her mind. Her madness was telekinetic. She should have been a TV personality. She should have been a hyena.

I held myself together with scotch tape until I was old enough to run. Then I switched to duct tape, stronger but not transparent, so I was a mystery to all who didn’t know me. No one knew me. I preferred it that way.

My wife accused me of being a hermit, an isolationist. Then she left me. How about that? She didn’t get the irony.

Irony or no, I could not make it on my own.


J’adore the way the nurses bend over in their crenellate uniforms and saggy panty hose. They take turns with the nuns, changing iden-titties. One day a nun, the next a nurse. It keeps their labors from getting stale, the work of God and of the body.

img_1439bI like the way the lunatics stand up and stretch like sunflowers, their last gesture of freedom before they’re squeezed in the press. Sunflower oil is healthy, I’m told.

I like watching visitors turn pale when inmates turn themselves inside out like exotic sea creatures demonstrating their unique form of self-defense. J’adore the pills, which taste of dirt and plastic. They are carcinogenic, and pure as organic tomatoes.

That’s the way they do treatment here, boiling baths, then icy ones, electroshock, then blackouts over five states.

I love my stench, shit and sweat, neuronal chemicals run amuck, fried synapses. I stare at my reflection and wonder: who is that poor pitiful sap? Can’t anything be done for him?

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