Chapter Twenty-Six, Part One: Apple GrassMature

His mouth claws the ground; his teeth, however, pull at a cave of endless fur. 

A small glint of metal rushes across his lips. 

He angles himself to grasp it, touching it with his tongue. 




A hole? In the middle, tiny. 

Even edges, no sharp bits. 


He imagines the tan back of a dromedary camel, sat in a dark cherry rocker, long toes gripping a set of needles. 

Then he imagines the reverse. 

He caresses the edge of his tongue against the smooth metal, exploring the triangle, the square. 

The circle in the center. 

Things like dots stick up in a line down the center, like the track of a ski slope cart. 

So it’s a zipper, then. 

His lips curve across, erupting in a gleam that is wholly Cheshire. 

He grips with his teeth and pulls with his jaw, organizing the mechanism with agile lips. 

He tugs. He yanks. 

How did the zipper get inside, he wonders as he begins to see progress, a bleed-through of light into his little cave. 

Drip, drop, drip. 

Like water in a deep cavern. 

Trkkkkkkk goes the backward zipper, born forward by his mouth. 

Fur agitates his ankles, burning his knees. He squirms. 

It rubs against his bits, biting him with little fires. 

It squirms, itching against his stomach. 

His tightening nipples dance in the face of No More Of This Tedium. 

 The pooling light becomes a wave of triangular rays, superimposed on rainbow rings. 

A shove. 

Jack spills out of Jack, and into the sun. 

The green of grass and mud greets him. 

Dirt stuffs his nose, earthy and charitable. 

The Time Agent is, it appears, a smudge in someone’s back yard. 



A screen door closing.

The End

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