I have a feeling. It’s a serial killer feeling. The feeling compels me to do this. Black smoke voices around my windpipe compelling. I will kill you. Come over here and let me kill you. I think of all the ways to kill you. First, I clean my house. When you come over you say, “Wow, your house smells so fresh!” and you think that I am a good person because of the tidiness. You are ready to be killed in a very clean house. I take you out back to show you the dead ants. “Here is where I keep all the dead ants,” I say. You take a disgusted interest in the ants and use the toe of your boot to push at the pile. You do not compare your fates. I go back inside to see what sort of way I feel like killing you. Alone, you stare at the ants. They look like black rice. The pile is as high as your knees. It smells of something you cannot recognize, although you want to say it reminds you of something in your dad’s garage, or maybe the garage itself: a warm oily smell. The pile of ants moves in crumbly waves as you continue to nudge it with your toes. The pile spreads and grows squat. The smell is making you feel nine. It is making you think about your mom and how you can’t remember how it felt when she last hugged you. You start thinking that maybe you are just very sad and that maybe you don’t want to die today, even inside such a clean house. I choose a butcher knife. I choose the sharpest nicest one I own. I come outside and ask you if we could please begin. You turn your head and open your mouth to answer but you say nothing. I think how nice you look, the way your hair falls against the side of your face – your profile so young and sweet. “I will do it slow…for you,” I say. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry about the ants…” you say, and then after a hesitation, “I don’t want to die today.” “Come to me,” I say, and you turn and walk into my arms outstretched, knife in hand, a crucifix. We embrace and you cry. I bring you inside to where the bed is ready. I lay you down. I kiss you so much. When I start cutting you close your eyes.


My breasts filled with spiders. A scraping and clawing. Their cream-metal hum. Soft, bristling sacks.

They rustle at night. Vibrant tap tap tapping through the palms of my hands as I hold them. Those not-veins: black thready legs. Those sliding lumps: black nugget bodies. I AM NOT SCARED!

Hot swelling into the necks of my shirts, sweaters. I buoy them down. I bind them. But more come. More are made. I’ve never been so big. One word is, “stretching.” One word is, “expanding.” Men’s eyes crawl across the crawling. They are not scared.

The expulsion comes quick: a fast click CLICK CLICK! and then the skin splits. A ship’s sail sliced top to bottom, heavy with buccaneer.

See them in the mirror. See them how I am a horror wailing. How they scurry out, smallest first. See them, a slate swarm spreading across my sea. How I am screaming. See them, the big ones, how they break the last tendons of flesh, how their fist bodies, finger-legs, look like dad-hands. How they linger at my nipples; now dangling discs. How they stay the longest. How they stroke, stroke, stroke.

xTx is a writer living in Southern California. She has been published in places like The Collagist, PANK, Hobart, Puerto del Sol, Smokelong, Monkeybicycle and Wigleaf. Her story collection, Normally Special, is available from Tiny Hardcore Press. Her chapbook, Billie the Bull, is available at Mud Luscious Press. She says nothing at www.notimetosayit.com.