One Vowel, Muddled: A Lipogram

—I’ll get to the bodies soon enough. Might I begin? 

—Quit, good detective. Your pop-psychology is reductively cringe-worthy. 

—Who, me? Neither psychotic, nor schizophrenic. No doubt my jury’s first impression will be likewise clichéd. 

—Of course, you’d like to know if I knew everything I did, when I did it.  I’ll concede this: consciousness of the deed, does not, in every occurrence, constitute whether one possesses the wily construct we term “conscience.” 

Not. The. Coyote. Might I inquire of your highest degree? 

—Considering your choice of similes, yes, my question isjustified. 

—I don’t follow—

—Why not? Letting me continue will slow your progress, no doubt, but it couldn’t possibly worsen the outcome. Furthermore, where could I go? Let’s review: 

First: my wrists? Secured. 

Second: my legs? Hobbled. 

Third: the door? Locked. 

While in here, there’s only you, out there, loitering under fluorescents, the mob’s just itchingfor me to try something. 

—The point, my good Dick? I’d get two-three linoleum tiles, irked by the unending squishing of these new shoes scuffed in record time, then nowhere. Might I continue? 

—Is it recording? 

—Perfect. I’ll never forget the fields of corpses—well, tiles of sod—I left behind: so exposed, so impotent. Without effective will, the most those ghosts will do is linger on the peripheries. The elements didn’t heed their cries, long since muted like the sounds never to slip from lipless grins, silent like the true roots of teeth, the whole lot now fully exposed. If only I chose dentistry once when, then these snippets—noticed but empty—might be worth their memory. Still, who knew repetition could smell so fresh? 

—Of course, you scoff, thinking these pronouncements bumper sticker philosophizing. 

—Why shouldn’t I be permitted such liberties? The surest bet: one’s life occurs only once. Picture, if you will, my unending sense of insufficiency. If only I could footnote my speech. You know, you should do this when you or whoever types up our “interview.” If only people could see how— 

—Sorry, Dick. Indeed, I must quit inconveniencing your due diligence. I surrender. No need to put up your dukes. 

—Yes, I remember where I left the bodies. To pre-empt your next question: no, recovery is impossible, unless skeletons—whole or incomplete—count.

—It’s simple: everything is limited by its “best-if-used-by.” Furthermore, my preferred dumpsites were those forested middens used to study how bodies of willing donors decompose in situ. Right now, the best forensics could only deliver the “best guesses” my victims’ pieces would provide. 

—No, you don’t get it. There’s nothing left. Settle up with the University of Tennessee’s world-renowned copse of corpses. I hid my life’s work there, substituting my victims for UT’s volunteers. Following the elements, the sundry grubbers, I suppose my victims’ bones were scoured, inventoried, filed somewhere. 

—Now, there is nothing left for me to confess. So, if it’s not too much trouble, I’d like something to drink. 

—Oh, yes…the subs.

—I forget where I buried those. 


© Michael Kiggins
This was originally published in Twisted Tales: Flash Fiction with a Twist in October 2014.