Eight stories for EI8HT, continued

Two

War comes to Lamorinda.

Janelle cleans the house, kills the cat, smears La Mer on her fallout rash. Survivors have been ordered to assemble at the country club. Janelle packs her Prada backpack with water purification tablets, eyeliner, fish sticks, other necessities for her journey.

There’s a first aid table set up at the country club, where the valet station used to be. The attendant insists on taking x-rays of Janelle’s head, saying she’s looking a bit tumorish. Sure enough, she’s got tumors: one small and dark, one large and glowing, spinning in orbit inside her head like a tiny earth and moon. The attendant is sympathetic to Janelle’s plight, and takes many x-rays of the tumors in various positions in her brain until he finds one that looks good. Now she can die beautiful.