Shallow Dance

by Matty Sullivan

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Take that, you sinful bitch!

I just ate a turtle.

Yes, a turtle. It was alive and kicking and filled with chocolate. As soon as I finished eating it, I threw up. Barfed right on the floor. I don’t know why; it just happened. Maybe the turtle was cursed. Yes, maybe I ate a cursed turtle.

Why would a turtle be cursed? Was it born that way? Or had it done something bad to a witch doctor, who cursed the poor thing to be terminally indigestible? Jesus, what a horrible thing. Being eaten alive is bad enough, but then to be immediately regurgitated onto the floor? How humiliating.

I’ve heard of humans being cursed. Yes, I have. Tons of them. In fact, now that I think about, they usually get turned into an animal. Like a turtle. Maybe that’s what happened. I thought I was eating a turtle but I was actually eating a human who had been cursed to look like a turtle, and my stomach knew better. It rejected it. “Ugh!” it said. “This is human flesh, cleverly disguised to look like a turtle!”

And, voomp! Up it came, right onto the floor.

Poor turtle. I guess I should apologize.

Sorry, turtle—or whoever you were. I bet you thought getting turned from a human into a turtle was bad enough, but little did you know how bad things could get. Life went poorly for you, no doubt about it, and I regret being a part of your suffering. All I can do is hope you deserved it, that your accumulated sins were so rank and offensive that your grisly and ignominious death was justified. In fact, maybe your demise came as a relief to you. I hope so. I hope your stupid and disgraceful life as a turtle was so depressing and humiliating that you were ready to go, no matter how it happened. “Please God, kill me now!” you probably said.

So we did. God and I. That’s right. I am his Angel of Death—Death by Eating Alive and Spitting Out. Blah! Take that, you sinful bitch!

So. Now that my divine work is done, I am hungry. If it weren’t raining, I would go outside and find something to eat. Like a frog. Or a cricket.

But no turtles! I’m off turtles for good now. You can’t trust them! Who knows what they’ve been up to, how they spend their time? Who’ve they been sleeping with? What have they done? Drugs? Murder? Perversion?

Filthy beasts. I won’t touch ‘em. Before anything goes into my mouth, I need to know its history. Assuming it has one. Actually, now that I think about it, I’d prefer it not have a history. I’d prefer it just popped into existence right before it entered my mouth—straight from the ether of Paradise and into my mouth. No stops along the way, no diversions into corruption. Pure, unadulterated. Immaculate.

Like a burrito. A divinely-inspired burrito.