What Is Wrong With You?

The lady sitting in front of me on the train was nursing her dog. Right next to her, there was a six-foot-tall bespectacled rat reading the newspaper.

I had heard the news on television. There was an asteroid falling to earth that was changing human life in certain ways. Chemicals escaped into the atmosphere that made changes in visual perception, and perhaps in other things.

I told myself that either my eyes were playing tricks on me, or that these were freaks who had been affected by the fall of the asteroid. Either way, as long as they didn’t see me as something dangerous and then attack me, I was okay.

The ticket checker was a small fly who was carting along a shoulder bag, dangling it from its feet. It stopped, resting the shoulder bag on an empty seat, and then looked at me, at the dog-owner, and at the labrat.

I handed it two tickets. It checked the tickets and looked at the decapitated corpse sitting next to me with the head carefully arranged in the lap. The fly shook its head as if to clear it, and then handed my tickets back to me.

The dog lady looked at the corpse and gave me a nervous smile. I slumped in my seat, put my hands behind my head, and smiled back.