As he sat slightly slumped forward, he could feel that small roiling ball of rotten flames flicker and lick up the spinal cord and hew and saw their way into the brain. it reached the face and seeped out into the world just under the eyes, eyes that could not focus, eyes that burned with sleeplessness. he looked down thinking the hands were shaking, but they were not, so he made them shake a bit, then stopped, wondering all the while whether he was holding it back to forcing it into being. somewhere in that column of flesh and bones the flames coiled blue and malicious, malignant. the heat tightened the throat and blocked the nose so that the breaths came ragged and woolly. the stomach’s vascular muscle tissue pinched and bunched unevenly, he imagined the intestines as warring snakes, each squeezing the other to death.
the future is made of rice, salt, and mineral oil.