III. Les huîtres sont contaminées!

In a many-roomed, multi-winged building filled with many multi-faced people ambling or floor-flopped, talking and gesturing and eating, I realize that a sickness is spreading. Men and women who were healthy minutes previous start vomiting and convulsing. Some exhale theatrically to the ground. I see cold sweats breaking out across swooned foreheads. Moans chorus through the apartments and anterooms. Soon, a wave of brightly colorous plague appears – a gorgeous turquoise begins to ring the eyes and mouths of the infected, to glow in stripy bars down their necks.

I walk from room to room, skin prickling defensively. Somehow I avoid catching the illness. Suddenly I see my best friend, whose lovely healthy face has turned dazzlingly morbid through a wash of neon blue. Her eyes are glazed, and she wobbles. I help lay her on a blanket on the floor. The floor is a spread of humans diseased. Looking around, I finally notice the dozens of large empty paper take-out boxes peppering the surfaces between bodies. Gooey leftover juices – the same eerie aqua as that tinting all this unlucky flesh – pool and clump inside the cartons. I remember: everywhere people were gorging themselves on the oysters contained therein. Reviling such slimy texture, I’d abstained.

“It’s the oysters!” I say to my best friend, holding her weak upper body in my arms. I’m afraid of our contact, of contagion, but my need to care for her is stronger.

She opens her mouth slowly, and in a tiny voice says, “Je veux une huître de plus, s’il te plaît.”

Despite deep misgivings I reply, “Tu ne veux qu’une huître? Juste une huître?”

“Oui, juste une huître,” she says, so quietly I almost don’t hear.

So I leave to get her one, even though I know I shouldn’t. A cafeteria-esque room emerges. Many tables, multi-buffets. The buffets had also been crammed with oysters. The whole building is now a veritable bucket of discarded, azure-tainted shells. Luckily, I cannot find a single pearl-spinner left. Instead, I decide to scavenge from the empty raw bar, and bring my beloved friend a giant ice cube. At the moment, I can think of no better substitution for her coveted mollusk.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I awake half-way and am overcome by creamy, half-conscious giggles.

~ by kingzoko on May 3, 2015.

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