The noon sun broke early through the writer’s window. It fell across his face like the white-hot glare of a thousand pissed-off editors, especially if those editors were using Twin Turbo hair dryers on the high-heat setting and also directing the sun’s rays onto his left cheek by way of a large magnifying glass.
“Ow,” he muttered to himself. “Also: ohhhhh.”
Roused into an aching sense of awareness, he opened his eyes and felt the wet goo beneath his face, his body. He groaned. Was it some kind of stew?
“Oh,” he muttered, again to himself. “Also: ewwwww.”
Granted, he had woken in someone else’s vomit on several occasions, often three or four times in a single morning, but until today, never his own.
No, never his own.
After showering, and also after tossing his vomit-covered business attire (i.e., terry cloth robe) into the neighbor’s yard, he brewed a cup of Sanka and returned to his desk. There would be no moonshine today. There would be only Sanka – no, wait. There would be only Folgers. Folgers Instant! Because Sanka, he suddenly and depressingly discovered, has no caffeine!
“Stupid Sanka,” he muttered. “No wonder I couldn’t stay awake.”
Sipping Folgers now, he sparked up the laptop and looked back on the previous day’s work, none of which, currently, he could even faintly recall.
In an instant his eyes went wide, like ocular pantomimes of Vaudevillian shock.
“Whoa, what the hell is all this?” he said to himself, the same self – well, no, a different self entirely – who had authored this carnival of the truly bizarre.
“Secret time portal?”
“Billy and the Giambisaurus?”
“Drew Butera in ‘The Ballad Of Gregor Blanco’?”
And that, he realized, was just Part 1.
“Oy,” he muttered. “Also: ugh.”
And yet despite his disgust, he was committed to the finishing the story. “It’s what the readers would have wanted,” he said, “if either were still reading.”
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