A bee stung me in the middle of the chest, directly on my sternum. It was like I’d been punched, and as I fell backward, my left arm stretched out to stop myself from falling but instead landed in a pile of dog shit. The shit was a thick paste, and the more I tried to clean it off, the more it covered my hand and arm. 
My mother wasn’t happy about the shit, but she was more upset by the grass stains on my clothes. The bee’s stinger in my chest started to feel as if it were alive. It grew. It grew in length and girth, swelling into something large. It throbbed and thrusted. From the part I could see sticking out of my chest, it looked like a railroad spike made of muscles and veins. It pierced through my back and burrowed it’s way into the dirt, worming it’s way to freedom. 
Because of this, my body was broken, and my mother held me in her arms. I couldn’t feel my fingers or any of my appendages. I could only stare at the white clouds and cliché blue sky. My mother stripped off my stained clothes but didn’t replace them. Instead, she put cowboy boots on my feet and placed my naked body in a wooden coffin that stood on end. The coffin was placed on our porch for three days, and people would come by and look at me. 
On the last day, two cherubic twins walked by and began taking photos of me with their iPhones. I thought of those photos on Instagram and felt my face turn bright red, but no one else noticed. I watched the twins hop around with their short and stout bodies. Their stomachs extended out like balloons that needed to be popped. Their arms and legs were short, like a baby’s. One of the twins had a light mustache that could only be seen around the corners of its mouth, while the other had long flowing hair that covered its utter-like breasts. 
An old man in a track suit approached them and said, “It looks like we're having an open casket funeral.” He stroked his crotch while saying this, and the twins rushed some rope around the coffin, then lowered it down into a hole. The old man began shoveling dog shit onto me, and I tried to call out for my mother, but I couldn’t move my mouth. I thought I felt something in my heart move, like a feeling of some kind, but it was probably just some maggots eating.

I was stripped of everything but my socks. A large collar was placed around my neck that was, in turn, attached to a chain that connected to the back wall. The room had concrete walls, and the only light came from a window in the ceiling. There was a door, the only way out, but I couldn’t see it because it blended in with the walls and all the walls looked the same. It was just a boring room made of gray walls and a drain in the floor. I didn’t recognize it. I had never been there before. 
When the light from the window hit me, snot came out of my nose, flushing out and spreading like an oil spill throughout the room. I knelt down over the drain to try and direct the snot into the hole. The snot was thick like maple syrup, and it slowly piled on the drain’s guard as if it were too thick to pass through. My socks got soggy. There’s nothing worse than wet socks. 
The drain’s guard popped up and slid slightly to the side, like someone removing a manhole. A strange gargle came from the drain and then a gasp for air, as if something had been struggling to breathe. From within the drain, two small hands popped out, grabbing onto the ledge. The hands had white gloves on that reminded me of the kind Mickey Mouse would wear. I watched as something was trying to lift itself out of the drain. The hands struggled to get a grip on the snot covered floor, but when they did I found that they were connected to two stringy arms, that were ultimately attached to a large snake that pulled itself out of the drain and into the puddle of thick snot. 
The snake was something like an anaconda, but its eyes were human. It seemed endless as it pulled itself out of the drain. It must have been eighteen feet long, and after it pulled itself out, it began circling me, using its thin arms to drag its snake body around on the snot covered floor. When it passed by my ass, I felt its tongue slither between my ass cheeks, and I was afraid that it might try to enter my asshole, but it didn’t. Its eyes didn’t leave me once as it circled me. I thought it might speak to me, but it never did. 
When it came close to me it began nibbling on my leg like it was tasting me. Frightened, I picked up my heel and smashed the snake’s head. Repeatedly, I pounded its skull. It let out a few cries, like an animal being crushed under a car tire, until it was no longer moving. I grabbed its head and noticed it had human teeth instead of fangs. I wrapped my hands around the snake’s jaw and began pulling it apart, splitting it in two with my bare hands. Its blood mixed with my snot. I never imagined that the insides of a snake were anything like the insides of a human. I always thought they were just shafts of flesh. I was shocked to learn that a snake might actually have a heart.



Brandon Freels spent most of his life in Portland, Oregon, but currently lives in New Orleans. His work has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Exquisite Corpse, Spork, Patricide, and Peculiar Mormyrid. He can be found at