Fissure by Lily Childs
‘Lie still’ Barbara shouted at Bernard as he struggled beneath her. The weight of her was only slightly more bearable than the suppuration that fizzed and frothed near the base of his spine. He groaned. Barbara climbed off her husband’s back and squatted next to him on the bed.
‘It’s a fuckin’ chasm, Bernie. Where’s it come from?’
‘Oh God, I dunno. It wasn’t there this morning. Didn’t know nothin’ about it ‘til we went to the pub after work. Kenny came back from the bog and started freaking out; said me shirt was jumping about. Rippling and shit.’
Barbara prodded the edge of the wound. It spasmed at her touch, a mass of wrinkled jelly and pink blancmange.
‘What? What Barb? You’re scaring me.’
Barbara jumped off the bed. She stood, staring at the eruption. She shifted her gaze down to Bernie’s frightened eyes.
‘It’s… I don’t know. It’s moving. Like it’s alive.’
Bernard strained his head. It was no good. He couldn’t see it, but he could feel the bastard pummelling at him, breaking loose. He stood up, cheap jeans and baggy boxers around his ankles, and waddled over to the bedroom mirror.
‘Here. Use this.’ Barbara passed him a hand-mirror.
‘What am I supposed to do with this?’
‘Don’t be an idiot. It’s what they do when you go to the hairdresser. Do you remember - the barbers – when you had hair? If you look in the small one then you can look at your reflection behind you.’
They glared at each other a second. Bernard grunted and snatched the ornate piece of framed glass from Barbara’s hand. He shuffled, bent over, stood up straight, wiggled about and craned his neck until he got a really good view of what was chewing at him. His heart thudded with the effort. It pounded even harder with the sight that met him. The volcanic, ribbed wound sucked and blew, hissed and bubbled – a bath-time fart in the flesh. It stunk as bad.
‘Jesus H!’ Bernard tripped over his feet, falling hard; his knees slammed down onto the laminate floor. Pus spat across the room but Barbara fought her disgust and threw herself down to take her whimpering husband in her arms.
‘What’s the matter Bernie? What now?’
Desperate tears bulged from Bernard’s yellowing eyes as he stared up at his wife. He shut his lids tight against her concerned expression. His florid complexion pulsed with tides of horror and embarrassment before he could bear to face his wife again.
‘It winked at me Barb.’ His voice fell away with sobs. ‘It fuckin’ winked at me.’
A furious stench the size of Belgium hit the room. Mr and Mrs Baker fell away from each other, vomiting as the rancid odour rushed down their throats. When they were spent, they lay exhausted. The reflection of Bernard’s infected supplementary arsehole teased him; the sight of his wife’s bulk, gently weeping hit him just as hard.
‘Help…’ Bernard gulped. ‘Help me Barbara.’ He fingered his way across the floor, sliding through spatters of steaming puke to seek out Barbara’s hand. He found her face first, her jowls jangled as her lament grew louder. For a moment, Bernard forgot about himself and wrapped his arms around her.
‘Ssshhh. Ssshhh Barbie.’
Barbara jolted up and shot him a look. Of all the bloody times to compare her to a plastic super-model, this was not the one. Before they could argue, a long, highly-indulgent slurping noise screamed from Bernard Baker’s back.
‘Lickin’ myself home, Bernie boy.’
The voice; a smarmy, grinning voice, came loud and clear from the fat man’s hole. Bernard stared at his trembling wife as she shifted her position to take a look. She gasped.
‘No. Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Oh God.’
Bernard crawled at speed back to the mirror. As soon as he caught sight of the long tongue protruding from his body he slumped down onto his belly. The tongue wavered around, its spittle dribbled and drooled, wetting Bernard’s hairy arse, before it plunged down to lick the gob back up again.
Bernard watched in morbid fascination. The sensation of sucking and entering, probing and retreating throbbed through his body and Bernie was horrified to find himself disturbingly aroused.
Without warning the orifice tore itself apart, exposing Bernard’s crumbling spine.
‘Heard of Ouroboros, Bernard Baker?’
The voice that shouted from the void was deep, guttural… ancient. It questioned its host again.
‘The dragon that eats its own tail? Circling, ever renewing itself?’
Bernard shook his head as he died, wanting to understand. This must be something from myth-o-logy, he thought it was called, some kind of fancy history. He knew nothing about it. Didn’t care about it - until now.
Vaguely aware of Barb sneaking out of the room, Bernie dragged some empathy from his heart and tried to reason with the creature.
‘What do you want, Horrid Boris? Why me?’
The demon roared with laughter, working its tongue further inside Baker’s sphincter.
‘Ha, you idiot. I didn’t say I AM Ourobouros. I just like his methods.
‘Thing is, I’m fuckin’ lazy!’
Bernard screamed as his insides turned out. His guts boiled as they hit the air. His life expired in seconds.
The demon, freshly reborn wiped the bloody detritus from its honed, blue-skinned body. It admired itself in the mirror, turning this way and that, grinning at its glistening erection.
‘Barbie?’ it called, in perfect impression of its former cocoon. ‘Everything’s alright now. I got rid of it. We’re OK babe.’
The stupid woman returned to the bedroom, her footsteps heavy along the hallway. Surprise slapped her in the face as she opened the door. She genuinely believed Bernie had gotten rid of the thing; that he’d be standing there in front of her, completely recovered.
She looked the demon up and down, taking in its strong, lithe form. An involuntary twinge quivered between her legs.
‘Oh God’ she said.
‘Not quite’ the demon replied, and dived in.