It’s round robin week, so we present a story in three parts, written on the fly. S.C. Green will continue this story on Wed, and Amy K. Nichols will conclude it on Friday.
The first time I died, I can’t remember. I think if I could, I could stop dying.
The second time I died, I was making French fries for David, and I died for my cigarette pants, of all the stupid things. I was barefoot, and wearing these amazing black capri pants that sometimes made me feel all gamine and French, especially if I wore them with a striped sailor shirt. Anyway, I was filling up the fryer and I think I was thinking about how mad I was that Scheherazade peed in my closet again even though I had just cleaned out her litter box.
So I was thinking about that, and spilled some oil, just dumped it everywhere. I jumped back so it wouldn’t hit my pants and ruin them, and I slipped and fell.
Hit my head.
I remember it hurting like a migraine on a motorcycle, like a drill through my skull. I remember tasting blood in my mouth, which made me want to throw up, because I hate blood so much. But my stomach wasn’t working anymore. Nothing was.
And that was it. When I woke back up again, I burned those pants.
David doesn’t like fast-food fries, or Ore-Ida frozen ones out of the bag. He has some really fussy taste buds. If he eats something that doesn’t agree with him, they get all huge and puffy and gross and he can’t close his mouth right for a while. I think I used to laugh about it, when it happened, because come on, how weird can you get? I guess I got my answer to that.
I still cook for David, but I always wear some ugly croc shoes, because they’re grippy, and go slowly. He understands. Nobody else does. Nobody else would let me keep coming back to him. I’ve lost a lot of other things, because of this.
I think it would be less weird if I looked different. If I came back as a baby, or a guinea pig. Then I guess it would feel like something else. Reincarnation. Wheel of Karma. But when I wake up, I hear this buzzing, purring noise. And I open my eyes and it’s Scheherazade, curled up in a lump on my chest and just going like a chainsaw. It’s cold, and I’m in my own bed, and whatever hurt me is gone. No dent in my head, no blood, no pain. And David is sitting in the chair, and he’s lit some candles because if you can’t tell already, he can be kind of dramatic, and he just looks. Oh man, he looks like the one who died. Just awful. Skin gray as an elephant’s, eyes all red from crying.
And he’ll go “Hi,”
And I’ll say, “Hi.”
And then he starts crying again, and leans over and holds me, and then I usually start bawling too, because crying is one of those infectious things. Like bubonic plague, or gangrene, or the black widow’s bite. That’s how I died the third time, by the way. The fourth time David says I drank too much. I don’t remember that one, obviously. But the fifth time, that’s when the wheels really started coming off the thing; that’s why I’m here with you, now, telling you all this even though you obviously don’t believe me.