Eight stories for EI8HT, continued


My favorite uncle opened a spa. He claimed that with his specialists’ help you could taste an ultimate pleasure drowning in his oxygen-rich tanks. There you lay in a glass coffin filled with translucent green fluid. A transmitter or something beeped out a pitiful orchestra; then these 20,000-volt cables swung down out of thin air to turn all the electricity green. I knew sooner or later he’d ruin that tank and its beautiful electricity-singing liquid. His slight lisp and the atmosphere of amoral characters and their enigmatic activities which permeated his office did not discourage his success in the slightest.

My favorite aunt breezes down the highway in her Audi TT. Little and blithe and pink, she’s returned from spinning her lipstick on snowy slopes; now she’s on a collision course with the tanks of green, and who can blame her? Those boys in huge fur coats? Those girls with very little on underneath? No. Relentlessly toward the spa she drives smug and perky—now plunging through the guardrail, off the overpass, through the roof of Uncle’s spa, into that tank of singing green. Later we dip hot perfumed water from the still-entitled wreckage of her silky body, once swaddled in furs, now no longer perky, driven to ruin by shabby passengers.

My uncle’s reign of fey symphonies shudders to a wild resolution. Accordingly, he leaves off his crackling compositions, his Q4 business plan, to preside over legions of such beautiful angels. I can see him now: rolling inexorably toward some uncertain but doomed conclusion.

Stagger to the kitchen, he says, and get me the gasoline.

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