"A Sense of Humor" by Cynthia Scott
Issue #4 / March 2014
Illustrated by Timothy Tang
KINDLE EDITION ($0.99)
CYNTHIA SCOTT is a freelance writer, blogger, and copyeditor at Zharmae Publishing Press. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Graze Magazine, Dogplotz.com, eFiction, Bleed.com, Rain Taxi, Bright Lights Film Journal, Strange Horizons, Creosote Journal, and others.
"She rubbed her eyes twice when she saw the hand. It lay between the rows of collard greens, gray and waxen, cut clean at the wrist, with dull fingernails, clenched fingers, and clotted blood around the clean, white bone. It looked like something for sale at a Halloween store, something trickster children might use to scare the bejeezus out of little old ladies, except that it wasn’t made of rubber. Flies buzzed around it and black ants trooped over it, tearing its flesh with their powerful mandibles and carrying away the bits to God knew where.
Vernice reeled back and threw up in the dirt.
She ran into the house and called her husband, Mel, who told her to sit tight; he was coming right over. She did as he told her. Literally. She sat in the living room and didn’t move a muscle. When Mel arrived, wearing his sanitation department jumpsuit and a SF Giants cap pulled down over his eyes, he asked her where it was. He did not acknowledge what “it” was. She pointed meekly toward the backyard patio door. It was still open, drawing in cold air.
“Where it at, Vern?” he asked again.
Vernice told him, her mouth still tasting of vomit. Mel went outside. He returned a few moments later, his face ashen. It seemed to Vern that he had acquired a few more gray hairs in his beard, a few more lines around his eyes.
“We gotta call the cops,” she said.