I smell my blood. It smells like shit. If a vampire came along he’d probably turn the other way. I’m an open sewer and I’m dying, and they’re laughing. Mandela and Artichoke are laughing at me. They’re taking off their clothes and giggling their fucking heads off. I thought Artichoke looked a little old to be a child, but the hair on his dick proves it. Mandela’s in fucking stitches over it all: “He’s not our kid.” “No shit.” I can barely squeeze the two words out of my quivering, dying mouth. “I gave that little shit up for adoption the minute I shit him out. You think I’d keep anything that was a part of you? No, stupid, Artichoke ain’t our son. Artichoke’s my new fuck friend. So I guess I lied. I don’t hate artichokes after all.” Artichoke squats down next to me. He runs the gun down my cheek. “Sorry, buddy. Didn’t mean to shoot you. But Mandela gets what Mandela wants. After all, she’s the one with the sweetest puss around.” Mandela cackles like the witch cunt she is. “That’s right, sweet as shit, but not half as sweet as the money we’re about to get paid for erasing your bald ass.” They make out some more. The lights fade again. She puts my former son’s crooked cock in her big stupid mouth. I’m pissed. I’m out. Awake again. Still not dead. Surprise, surprise.
No one’s around. Well, actually I shouldn’t say no one. There’s someone. She’s staring at me. I can tell she’s a she.
“Hey, pooch, where’d you come from?” I know she can’t be Mandela’s dog. She looks happy and healthy. A dog wouldn’t last a week in this psycho bitch’s house. She’s cute as all shit too. Some sort of Schnauzer mix. Nothing better than a cute dog. Always brightens your day. Even when you’re bleeding like a fucking pig from a gunshot wound put in your gut by an adult posing as a kid because he can’t get enough of your ex-girl’s diseased snatcharoo. This pooch is just too cute for fucking goddamn words. She walks over and licks the sweat off my face. Must like the salt. Her tags say that her name is Janet. She’s got a real tickler for a tongue. I love her. “Thanks, girl.” I give her a little head rub with my hand. She gives me another lick, then moves her beautiful brown eyes down my chest, fixing her gaze on my wound. “That’s right, Janet. Shot. Dying.” She gives me a quick cute look. Then, without warning, she picks up her head and plummets her nose into my bloody belly hole like a fucking cat crawled inside me. I scream like a fucking ghost. What the fuck?! I thought Janet was my friend. I’m trying to pull her off, but she’s strong. I ball up a fist. I don’t want to, but I’m gonna have to punch this dog in her cute fucking head. But right as I’m about to take the swing, she comes up. Her face covered in my shit-smelling blood. She opens her mouth and PLUNK… it’s the bullet. “Good girl, Janet.” Janet runs out of the room and comes back with a sheet. Wow, Janet makes Lassie look like a fucking moron. I take the sheet and wrap it around my stomach. I take off my bloodied clothes and put something else on. It’s hard to stand. Legs are tired. Not much in ’em. I give Janet another pet. This dog’s the best of the best. I see a car. Shit! Gotta be ready. Take a peek out the window. It’s Mandela all right. But Artichoke’s not there. Where’s Artichoke? Who gives a fuck? “You dead yet, asshole?” No, I’m not, Mandela. No, I am not. Before she’s at the door, I run out. My fist is kissing her face. And it’s hard and it’s nice. I don’t punch women, but this feels good. She hits the ground. She’s screaming. Of course she is. Ain’t nothing quiet about Mandela. But we are outside. Why didn’t I wait for her to come in? I’m stupid and impulsive like that. There go my hands. Her neck is soft. Janet’s panting. Neighbors are looking. Cops will be here soon. Mandela gives me a sock to the gut. That hurts. But the rage keeps my shit together. I just squeeze harder. Her eyes are scared. Her breath is trying to get in and out. How could you, Mandela? How fucking could you? Janet is panting. Cute dog. There’re tears now. I think they’re hers at first, but they’re mine. Guess that’s the little bit of love I have left coming out. I squeeze harder. The tears stop. The love is gone. Her eyes are gone. She is gone. “Let’s go, Janet.” We are gone. Check Here for previous installments of Toupee, Brett Gelman’s novel about baldness, disgusting depravity, and being on the lam.