Zary Fekete | Alice Took the Injection

Alice was sobbing. Janet was dead. Alice took the injection.

The 6PM police satellite umbrella had just orbited above the house. When Alice stepped outside she was 5 ft 4 inches tall. By the time she ran the end of the driveway and she couldn’t see over the rows of corn.

After taking the injection she had left the syringe on the kitchen counter. The label was printed on Mars where the preferred language was Mandarin: “Done in 15 minutes. Arrange being safe place.” She ran into the open field. Her legs were so short now it took her a full minute to reach the middle.

She stopped and stood still. Tears blurred her vision. The brown field grew around her, like she was draining through a sink. Quick images from the past weeks flashed.

Janet’s mother walking in on them. The bottle of pills. Janet’s still eyes. The mini vodka bottles. Driving fast. The kid’s head hitting the window. A slurry of blood. The judge,
“Juvenile strayance…5 years in Europa Penal.” The strange wording of the web ad for Q-rious, the syringe drug, “Problems shrink as you do. No lie!”

By the time she steadied her thoughts her acceleration inward was increasing. It would have taken her 30 minutes to run back to the road. The web ad was still swimming before her eyes, “Be whenever…wherever!” She was slightly floating now as gravity released her reduced mass. All around colors rushed toward the sky as she was compressed.

The last ad sentence read, “Skip the next few years…the future will be brighter!”

Zary Fekete…
…has worked as a teacher in Hungary, Moldova, Romania, China, and Cambodia.
…lives and works as a writer in Minnesota.
…has been featured in various publications including Zoetic Press, Bag of Bones Press, and Mangoprism.
…has a debut chapbook of short stories out from Alien Buddha Press and a novelette (In the Beginning) coming out in May from ELJ Publications.
…enjoys books, podcasts, and long, slow films. Twitter: @ZaryFekete

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