Issue #57

Winter 2016

Let Me Squeeze Your Islets of Langerhans

by Matthew F. Amati

Welcome. Julie, can you fill out this form and this one and this one? Not that one! And this one. Thank you (tears up forms). Please state your name. Please state your state capital. Please weep.

The nurse will see you shortly. Or someone will. A pale man, perhaps. Perhaps a nun. Perhaps a dwarf with scars. You can read Time or The Economist. There are chintz curtains. I hear baboons laughing in a back office somewhere.

Here is prescription for Zoxil and another for Unzoxil, to be taken when the side-effects of the Zoxil overwhelm you. Here is Impedizol and here is Freebilax and here is Death-be-gone and here is Hemlock and Wartbane and here are newt hairs gathered by starlight, and here is a goat’s jaw weeping blood. Of the feet. Side effects may include rash, blisters, eye loss, skinside-out syndrome, assholitosis, herpe burps, gangroin, mangina-pox. In rare cases, prolonged use may lead to early-onset ballzheimer’s.

The surgery is risky, but I'll use my most finely calibrated hoe. It appears your blobby thing has a squishy thing next to it. Of the ear. No wonder you feel bloated all the time, we cut you open and you were full of blood! Of the brain-bone. We sewed you back up after we accounted for all sponges, gloves, scalpels, and clamps. However, later we noticed the waffle iron had gone missing; have you experienced any undesirable clanking sounds?

Now I will interrogate your liver. Please display your genitals to bored passersby. Of the spine. The nurse is going to crawl into your urethra; she is looking for something shiny, but she won't tell us what it is. Just lie there. Lie still. We don't want to have to restrain you. Of the knee. Now the nightmares come during the day, and the daydreams don’t come at all. Fear of white coats? Fear of saws? Your blood pressure keeps you properly grim. You leak. Your T-cells have eaten your fingernails. Of the soul-sac. This strain is penicillin resistant. This virus is muscled like a mighty barbarian. This bacterium breeds in boiling plutonium. The animalculae have grown strong. I welcome our single-protein overlords.

That's Dr. Haight, he likes to enter the operating theater through the sewers. How long have these urges been coming? Dr. Bartleby collects skulls but only those of his patients. The lab found a child's finger in your stool – we recommend fashioning children out of butter and eating those instead. This crank makes the bed bend in the middle, and it makes you bend in the middle as well. Of the bowel. You will die, but don’t worry, suffering will happen first. Can you describe these urges? Expose your vulva to the steel ceiling, please, Dr. Cream will be along presently to nuzzle it with his mustache. O, the poor soul, encased in this disgusting sack of meat. O soul, my soul, you were placed here to be witness to decay. Tremors. Palsies. Gasps. I’m frightened. I’m cold. Of the islets of Langerhans. Of the duodenum.

Go ahead and scream. That's it. Get it all out. We'll put more in, don't you worry.

Author Bio


Matthew F. Amati's fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Online, Schlock magazine, and Space Squid. He lives next to a lake in Wisconsin where he plays the banjo and mutters.