Upside Down in a State of Torpor

by | Jun 11, 2019 | Fiction, Issue Nine

If I were a hummingbird, this IV would drip up, into my median metatarsal vein. That’s the highest logical venipuncture point for my current position. I’m awake, yet not; alive? Eh. I’ve been here all night, since servicing the ladies at Eagle Grove Care Center. Those are some horny chicks, and they don’t mind sharing me. We’ve all had our turn at monotony.

I miss being a domestic duck, don’t get me wrong. Martha and I’d go to the café in town and the endless coffee kept conversations going. Those farmers, whining about welfare and healthcare, so holier-than-thou until their subsidies and kickbacks came in. Then they just left the fields fallow and collected. Things got quiet in the café.

Back home, Martha’s figurines of children posed in precious moments next to an assortment of clowns, mostly sad. Wind chimes clinked, a heavenly choir. No matter how hard Martha tried, the place always smelled sour, like damp towels, never quite dry. Cats pissed on the moldy geraniums outside, and together, the odor overcame the perfume of cinnamon and vanilla from Martha’s baking.

But it’s Iowa; what can you do?

Hushed voices now. Progress charted; lights out. Someone’s check marks connect, beeping out the lonely rhythm. Hope it’s not Louise. She’s the best at the green Jell-O two-step. She’s my consolation prize, like when the cat laid a hummingbird corpse at my feet, feathers like emerald confetti drifting all around. Pretty, but still sad. Nothing like Martha. There was a hen to build a nest with.

Martha and I had our golden eagle anniversary. We were never quite patriotic enough to be bald, but we mated for life. She’s soared off into the wander now, and our aerie’s been sacrificed for a confinement lot.

Turkeys of all things.

Nothing left to do look for nectar, and maybe hang upside down.

Read more Fiction | Issue Nine

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