When Georgia Simpson awakes, tangled in the blue sheets of an unfamiliar bed, she finds herself a giant, slippery, slug. She’d been dreaming of her husband, a man with beautifully tanned skin and silver-blue eyes.
Beside her gelatinous bulk lays a large, furry rodent. His face, sharp with twitching whiskers, is close to what was once her shoulder, but is now just part of the sloping mass of her moss-colored body. Georgia’s antennae twitch as she takes in the rat’s sleek apartment.
She slides away from the rat, whose hairless tail, so naked and thin, loops up from below and is clutched between his claws. When Georgia slips off the bed to the wooden floor, her feelers graze a pair of striped boxers. A trail of slime grows behind her as she glides through the rodent’s home. She hooks her purse with an antenna, and as she shuts the door behind her, glimpses the whitish marks on the floor, like the chalk outline of a mutilated corpse.
She inches down the stairs, and wonders how she can possibly explain any of this to her husband. A rippling wave moves through her, contracting as she slides forward.
On the street, no one looks twice, and Georgia wonders if her husband, perhaps, won’t either. Her antennae tremble. She decides she’ll go to the beach, a place she hates.
The gritty sand sticks to the mucus that coats Georgia’s belly, technically her foot. The slowness with which she moves is excruciating.
In the cold waves, she waits for the salt to dissolve her.
Yasmina Din Madden lives in Iowa and has published short stories, flash fiction, and nonfiction in The Masters Review: New Voices, The Idaho Review, Word Riot, Hobart, Carve, and other journals. Her story “At the Dog Park” was recently shortlisted for The Masters Review Anthology: 10 Best Stories by Emerging Authors.
This piece was originally published on Flash Flash Click. We are honored to host it here in partnership and collaboration.
Image: “A Mechelen Rat” by Graniers