They sang into the floor, muffled spoken suggestions from the vanished. The body is a living collection of incriminating evidence; your each and every breath holds you to the things you have done. The mutilation, the mutation, is a means of covering one's biologic tracks. Nothing standard in the escape ship. The lights along the spine are a transmission device which will grow in time into a series of bioluminescent beacons along the body, having finally learned no alien race will still use the square wheel of the spoken word, will speak as the great phylum of sea-animals, from whom we will learn the subtle joys of weightless space, free of the squeak and squeal of mammalian language addicts but through the transmission of emitted light. Shadings to specify, blending the hues into choral speech, so to speak.

Take Highway 63 out of town, through the small ring of outlying cities, out past the slaughterhouses and the factories, out to where the highway becomes unmaintained, cracks in the road, farther out to where the road ends, past the radio towers and sewage stations, steering between trees and rows of soybeans, and eventually you'll find a gutted trailer tucked into the back of what was once an apple orchard. The trailer was locked with multiple padlocks. Inside the trailer, the furniture had been torn out, the walls painted over with cheap white gloss, the windows covered with newspaper and cardboard. These were rooms which, once entered, gave off a certain dull chill, the scene of some prior event. Vons Serin watched me from her place in the ceiling, dried flakes of skin falling from her mouth and hair like a small snow as she laughed, pulling pink clouds of insulation from the roof and to cover her body. Her greatest students, the Solehn Sisters, laid prone on the bed, face to face, covered with my blood. I had stood above them, the tips of my fingers slit, and spilt half-circles of thick warm blood across their faces and chests, the mounds of their pregnant bellies, across which they traced fingerpaths as they throbbed against each other, lines of narcotic drool and reddened milk pooling beneath them. I was dizzy, I was sick. Too much had left my body. The genitals had dyed a dark bruised black from where she let the octopus, now back in its tank beneath the sink, fill her with its inks and venoms, hung on the edge of a terrible epiphany, echoes in the shards of mirrors and shining metal she had collected around her hiding place, her second womb, in the ceiling of the trailer. The sisters tried to speak, spat through their seizures, begged for the entrance of the ghost. The stars above us were swallowed into the night.

During the day the Solehn Sisters would wrap my eyes in stained silk restraints and set me on the floor of the rental car, driving into the city to find unregistered prostitutes who resembled my mother for me to scream at while they fed me from their swollen veined breasts with heavy greenish milk until finally I slept, wrapped around the girl, sucking the warmth from her body, her hair tied around my throat, enveloping my skull. What Vons Serin did during those times I do not know, as I would wake back at the trailer, wrapped in jasmine and cheesecloth, my eyes smeared with honey. It had only been a month before that I was a schoolboy, that I was considering my career. I do not remember whose skin I wore at the time; I believe the sisters would change my skin during my blackouts, rearranged my organs, tied small curse-ribbons around my spine. My sense of balance and hearing were never in balance, but I figured that to be drug related, nothing a month of sleep wouldn’t cure. I still thought everything would heal with time.

the exit is hidden within the exit