A week ago, little people appeared on my skin. Some are as large as my pinky nail and others too small to see without a magnifying glass.
I feed them sunlight. They live for warmth. I let them bask even to the point of sunburn—for all of us—though I shouldn’t, as that sort of cancer runs in my family, but I worry any lotion might harm them. And they love the sun so very much.
How cute they are.
Sometimes I wish to scrape them off my skin. Get a job. Stop squatting on me. But then I think this is wrong. And perhaps they’ve nowhere else to go. Perhaps they need me.
And I wonder. Are they sentient? I think they are happy, at least. I haven’t seen tears yet.
They love my hair and like to hang from my auburn curls—the hair on my head, my nose hair, my armpit hair, my pubes. I try to remove them, as many as I can find, before I shower. But they run away from my fingers; they insist on swinging. I am filled with worry when I must take a pee, imagining the stragglers I cannot see falling into the toilet and being flushed away. I hide my face in my hands as I pee. I tremble as I pull the chain.
Is this a sin? Am I murdering them?
I am filled with indecision and worry. I barely move sometimes knowing they are crawling and clinging and swinging and falling. I cannot save them all. Barely any. And their scrambling itches sometimes, and I must scratch. And I think my weakness to discomfort has killed a soul. What is wrong with me? But they die even when I roll over, even while I sleep.
I used to only notice their happiness. They seem oblivious to the many deaths. So happy. And it is so strange, because I feel nothing but despair now. Why did this happen? Are there others with little miniature human beings prancing upon their bodies like jolly explorers ascending the mountains of the breasts and descending to the valley of the navel? How do they manage?
There is no food on my table. I stink. And I haven’t left my house in days.
I had to make a decision. I would not survive, sane, if I hadn’t.
I returned my magnifying glass to my drawer today.
It will take some practice, but I think I can ignore them.
This short came from a dream I had this past weekend while I was flying from Paris to Miami, my mind occupied by current social issues, and Buddhism, and the discomfort of dry airplane air. I think Gogol may have been whispering in my subconscious, too. I like this quick thing because it is quirky and not really about tiny people at all. –Ann
copyright 2019 A. H. De Carrasco. All rights reserved. Stock images used for creating this cover were purchased through Depositphotos, Inc., alanpoulson, Tawng, nopsang, nejron, Photocreo