Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Nose Thief

By Daniel Vlasaty

The man without a face points a gun at me. But it is not a gun. It is a giant dead fish, rotting and stinking. The man without a face demands all my money. He does this with hand signals, since he cannot speak, without a mouth. I tell him to go fuck himself. He makes some frantic gestures with his head and his hand holding the gun, and squeezes the dead fish’s tail fin twice. The fish makes a burping sound and two greenish-bluish-gray blobs fly from its rotting lips.

The blobs come at me very slowly. So slow that I have plenty of time to move out of the way. But I don’t. I’m too fascinated with these things. One hits me in the chest, explodes on impact. The other spins around and moves toward my face. It splatters directly between my eyes, goo blinding me with a faint burning sensation.

“What the fuck, man?” I shout. “What the fuck is this shit?”

The man without a face cannot respond but he makes a mumbled laughing noise. I wipe the gunk out of my eyes. The world around me comes into blurry focus. The man without a face is just standing there watching me. I wonder how he is able to see without any eyes.

My nose falls off. Just plops right onto the ground. The man without a face lashes out for it, pounces on it like a cat in attack mode. When he stands back up my nose is fixed onto his face, a little crooked, held in place with a strip of scotch tape.

I feel the hole in my face left by my missing nose. It is bigger than it should be. A thick liquid drips from it, getting caught in my awesome mustache. It tastes like hand sanitizer and spit. Gross but not too terrible. I am surprised that I am still able to smell without a nose.

Two eyes open on the man’s face. They are the color of decaying flesh and they don’t seem to want to work in unison with each other. They want to do their own thing. They are free spirits. He has a mouth now, too. It is the smallest mouth I have ever seen. A doll’s mouth with no visible teeth.

“Thanks, chief,” he says with his new mouth.

“Give me back my nose.” I order.

“No thanks, I think I’ll keep it. I rather like it.”

“What if I ask nicely?”

“Knock yourself out. I’m still going to keep it, but you’re more than welcome to try.”

“Can I please, please, please have my nose back, fine sir? Pretty please with sugar on top.”

He takes a few seconds to think about it, as if lost in deep, deep thought. He rubs his chin, runs his fingers through his nonexistent mustache and says, “No.”

“You dick,” I say. “What’s wrong with you? What kind of person steals another man’s nose? I even asked nicely. Fuck yourself.”

He harrumphs at me and makes to leave. “I will not be insulted on the street by some nose-less monster. Have a good day, sir. I hope at some point in the near future you learn some manners. Barbarian.”

He tosses his dead fish gun on the ground at my feet and walks away, tightening his coat at the waist and hugging himself as if against a harsh wind even though it is at least ninety degrees and the sun is at full blaze.

I pick up the dead fish gun and move after him, shouting, “Give me back my mother fucking nose!” Other passersby see me chasing him, gun drawn, and scream. They run in all directions. At least twenty of them call the police.

The police show up in less than twelve seconds, dressed in full riot gear. Helicopters swarm overhead like angry bees. Swat teams set up in strategic positions through the crowded street. The man with my nose stops at a Starbucks for an iced coffee. When he comes back out, my nose is flapping loosely on his face. The tape won’t hold to his oily skin.

I ask him once again to kindly return my nose and he again denies my request, telling me to eat a bag of his ass. “Fuck you then,” I say in what I hope sounds like an awesome tough guy voice. I glance back at the cops. They are all moving toward us. I panic. But they walk right past into the Starbucks, arguing with each other about who was in line first.

This is my chance. I squeeze the dead fish. It burps and its insides fall from its mouth. The insides squirm like octopus legs, wrapping themselves around my wrist. The dead fish rips in half and its insides crawl all the way up my arm, past my neck. They bury themselves deep in the hole left by my stolen nose, bits hanging down my face.

The nose thief looks at my new nose, jealous. “Wanna trade?” he asks, ripping my nose off his face and holding it out to me.

My fish-gut nose lashes out and snatches my old nose out of his hand. It devours my old nose with wet slurping sounds. The nose thief holds his head down in shame. My new nose lashes out again and eats his face right off his head. He falls to the ground, clutching the bloody remains of his face. The cops all come out of Starbucks at the same time, stepping over the faceless corpse, making gross faces at it. My new nose steals a pumpkin spice latte from one of the cops. It growls at him until he backs away, his cop buddies laughing at him and calling him a pussy.

BIO: Daniel Vlasaty lives in Chicago. He works at a methadone clinic and reads comic books. He is not on drugs. You can find him on facebook if you feel the need to curse him out or tell him he is stupid.

No comments:

Post a Comment