Guest Fiction Spotlight

Two-Headed Dog

Well, the "Story of the Month" turned out to be a lot less than monthly. That's not for lack of good submissions, rather it's a lack of time on my part.

So, I'm renaming the segment, "Guest Fiction Spotlight."

The first story to kick off the new venture is titled "Two-Headed Dog" and was submitted by, Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois.

Two-Headed Dog

Day One/ Dear God, let everything broken be unbroken

Main Street becomes a highway as it leaves town east and west, but we don’t think of grounds privileges as an escape risk. Only a shard of patients have the nerve.

Tiffany: The roadway is not asphalt
but the bodies of Doberman Pinschers Sometimes they come back to life

Still, an urge to swim in her father’s pool, or breasts desperate for her children, conceived so immaculately they are unborn, or needing violence against her pale skin, she hears a voice: run run run.

Day Two/ Everything is gone

but they demand I get out of bed, brush my snaggle teeth
Can't you hold me, Hank? Close, as if I were beautiful?

After years in the madhouse, I am ubermensch, with x-ray eyes. Under ugliness, I see beauty/ under dysfunction, capability. I see Tiffany—before afflictions’s smear—kneel in sunshine, in rich earth, like Mary Magdalene.

Day Three/ Soggy Collard Greens

The other diners scrutinize me—
When you go pee I panic and throw our food on the floor

Tiffany is nowhere in sight At Highcastle Pharmacy, the counter girl asks: who? I stand in front of the lipstick display and read the names of colors.

You buy me a tube
I shake from medication and you guide my hand

I gaze at her new-colored lips. What if all the barriers—including her illness—suddenly collapsed?

Day 4/ Grunge Band Crash-Pad.

Dax: prison tattoos, ragged hair, pinwheel eyes. Couch-bound, he stares at ceiling. His electric guitar body is on his chest, its neck between his legs. “Wazzup, man?” “Tiffany? Yeah, she’s here. Shaggin’ our new drummer.” My heart soars, and falls to the pit of my stomach. I am ready to vomit with elation.

Dax leads me into a room, a bare, cum-soiled mattress on the floor, crushed PBRs. “Probly went to score. You gonna bust her?”

“She’s an escapee, a chronic schizophrenic.”

“Sign, sign everywhere a sign. Dig, you gotta let people tune their own karma. Can’t just lean in like a shade-tree mechanic, spray ‘em with WD-40, and re-torque their mind.”

“So terror and confusion are Tiffany’s fate, and Death under a freeway?”

“I reckon. Man, I gotta head for the McJob….”

Drowsy, I lie on the couch, cover myself with his Fender. I’m a two-headed dog. I awake in deep dark, and sneeze four times, feel dizzy. Meth in the couch cushions? I stand, grip the guitar—an ax— head for the cum room. No grunge punk is gonna mess with my treatment plan

Max Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems and fictions have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been thrice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition.