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FICTION

Lamarck

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My grandmother opens her mouth, spiny tongue and flower teeth stretching their arms. Their windows are open they smile and breath.

Is that a cruller? says my grandmother.

I look at my hand I am holding a rat. The rat is named Salt. He twitches his whiskers nibbles sweetly at my fingers.

My grandmother opens her mouth and her flower teeth cheer. Salt climbs onto my shoulder. His feet are very sharp, though I love him so.

You used to paint snails I say.

I only paint women says my grandmother.

Would you paint me?

My grandmother opens her mouth and Salt jumps in. Her flower teeth pet his gentle fur. I want to know what I would look like, so slimy, so small. I hear my father’s weight at the door. He whimpers and shakes. My grandmother throws Salt over her shoulder. Her flower teeth sigh.

It’s funny she says, it is just so loud outside.

Jenny Fried is a trans writer living in California. Her work has appeared previously in Cheap Pop, Milk Candy Review, X-R-A-Y, and elsewhere. Find her on twitter @jenny_fried