The Final Movement


Her toilet had not flushed since February 21, 1997, two weeks after her husband died. Now 79, Marigold Fitzcummings had developed quite the landmark of fecal matter. It began without purpose. The old lady could no longer control her bowels. Incontinence coupled with the out of service lavatory led her to squat in the corner of her screened-in back porch. The BACK porch, because she was a lady.

After so many years the defecation formation had evolved to be the defining aspect of the house. In many ways it had its own personality. It towered and twisted like a huge earthen chimney imagined by a depressed Dr. Seuss. It was bedazzled with fungi of the most loathsome hues. A buzzing halo of insects incessantly circled it as if trapped in its odiferous orbit. The heat emanating from its core had melted the glass windows of the adjacent kitchen. There was a wreath of dead porcupines, raccoons, and stoats about its base. Many critters, curiously drawn in by the stench, had been done in by the same fatal fumes. The heat had accelerated their decomposition and all but the hardiest were skeletized within a week. The wooden beams and pillars that held the house together had warped away from the heap as if to escape it. There was a humid mist that engulfed a 5 mile radius around the overpoweringly fragrant epicenter. If one entered into this radius one would feel that same sudden hot gust of air one feels when one disembarks a plane in an equatorial country. Piles of bird corpses rakishly festooned the line of demarcation in a near perfect circumference.

One sparkling day in August, Marigold went out to the porch to add to the mound. As she let down her polka-dotted bloomers, the steaming excrement mountain did something new. A delicate poop appendage, not unlike a squid tentacle, reached out and affectionately caressed her, leaving a brown streak mark down her cheek. Marigold looked up at her grandest creation.

“No more,” flapped its featureless Muppet-like maw. It’s voice was a thousand beautiful, juicy breaking-of-winds, yet it somehow managed a whisper.

Bemused, Marigold began to release her waste uncontrollably on the floor.

“You’ve given me so much already,” it belched.

The rotted floorboards creaked and snapped and the enormously dense ordure mound lifted its immense mass and separated itself from the house. The entire porch violently tilted like a swing whose chain had just been cut on one side. Marigold watched on, unsure of her feelings, as the monstrous dejecta loafed off into the pines—which wilted as it sluggishly passed.

She gazed into the trees for hours, perhaps vainly hoping it would return. Her screen porch now a shambles, she was suddenly exposed to the elements she had previously shunned. Not fourteen seconds after the turd departed, Marigold was shot through the eye by her blind senile neighbor, Bernie Topplebin, who thought he was hunting arctic yaks.

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J. Burrello

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