Quan falls into the patient breakfast line at the hospital for the criminally insane, he peers at the kitchen staff through pushed in black glasses, grips his tray in both hands, nose sniffing right over its plastic surface, checking to perceive odors and blemishes. He mentally calculates the time distance between himself and the food. “Maybe ninety-eight and a half seconds.”
All day long is about Roxxi’s wants and needs. Mrs. Lombard watches the sun stream through translucent curtains in her kitchen, feels a pliable breeze. She reflects the day: Roxxi believes there’s a syringe lodged in her cervix. Mrs. Lombard and all the staff had laughed. It’s crazy Roxxi’d say such a thing. But here, comforted by early evening light enveloping her home, while Roxxi shoots heroin “made from tar and apple cider vinegar” (Roxxi reports) into her fifty-something veins, Mrs. Lombard’s thoughts on her reflective pedestal stream in like the light traveling through the kitchen: Well Roxxi is a product of the system. Yes she is an intravenous drug user. But she is a product of The System that got her addicted in the first place.
It was early but the sun was already strong and high. In the distance, the road was shiny and sweaty as it curved between the red ground. It was going to be a hot day. In the East, the sun cast a hazy film over the hills. Lachman sat in the sultry shade of an olive tree as a single bee buzzed loudly and persistently around his head. He’d always found that bees were particularly drawn to him. Perhaps they knew how to spot a criminal.
Welcome. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’d ask how you came to be here, but I know you can’t tell me. Do you know where we are? No? Well I suppose that is to be expected, so don’t be troubled. You were somewhere else, and now you’re here. That’s all.
Clint Cherbouger was not an ornithologist. He liked birds for the most part. Mostly ducks. Pigeons were kind of gross and there were too many of them.
“What are you in for?”
I had a feeling we would become friends.
This is a story about insanity. Well, about my attempt to stay sane inside insanity. No, the story about me battling insanity. No, about my victory over the insanity of life. No, still not right… or true. It’s a story about me. Hi. So buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!
When the two teenage hot dog vendors laughed at Brandon Viktor, he saw their tongues stick out. The thin, stoop shouldered 21 year old took the wiener from its bun and bit a huge piece off. Everyone in Princetown thought they could make fun of him, but he still had a powerful chomp.
The knots in Alexander’s tie were becoming tighter with every twist and loop he made. His fingers moved in rhythm with his jaw, teeth grinding to the furling and unfurling of the silk in his hands. Again and again he coiled the fabric, feeling as it constricted against his skin. He had to admit, the first knots were sloppy, smeared in the sweat of the unstable fingers that made them. But, the further down they went, each became more and more precise. Practically a work of art.