– Mommy? Are you there?
– Is everything all right?
– Everything’s fine. I just want to go home is all.
– Where are you?
– I already told you.
– Tell me again.
– Outside a pharmacy on the coast. It’s almost dawn and I’m barefoot.
– I don’t know if he’s the guy.
– When you find the guy, you can come home.
– I know. It’s just, the longer I’m here the more it…
– it hurts?
– And it’s just that we dropped I don’t know how many pills. Couldn’t you just come get me? You can drop me back, okay? I just need a break. I’d like to see
to hold, to touch, to have
In the beginning, KALI I8 created Norma (a network operation requiring minimal access) with a singular goal: bring back the horn of the perfect male.
Spill City: the coast of a near-future California, newly broken from the continental United States. In a temporary calm between storms, Norma combs the exposed intestines of the human world for the Guy. The Guy, the horn, is the only way home. If home exists. If home ever existed.
The longer Norma stays, the harder it is to remember.
She is a woman, a mother, a harbinger, a vessel, a tool, a program. She can be written and unwritten over and over again until something, someone, sticks.
And people, humans, are starting to stick.
Mommy is not pleased.
J.S. Breukelaar is the author of the Aurealis Award-nominated novel Aletheia, and American Monster, a Wonderland Award finalist. Collision, her new collection from Meerkat Press, drops in Feb 19. She has stories, essays and poetry published in Unnerving Mag, Black Static, Gamut Magazine, Lamplight and elsewhere. She is an instructor and columnist at LitReactor.com and lives in Sydney, Australia with her family.