The cut on her finger hurts like a son of a bitch. One of those tiny slices so fine it’s almost invisible, but oh, it throbs and stings. As she squeezes the skin around it open and closed it moves like a beak. She imagines it’s squawking; a relentless seagull tormenting her.
“I want that fry. I want that fry!” he goads, angrily swooping to and fro against the brooding, clouded sky.
She looks around for the French fry, but finds nothing. The bird screeches louder and louder. She covers her ears and rocks back and forth.
“Go away!” she whispers. “Please go away.”
She swats at the air around her head, catching her frizzy hair between her fingers, pieces of it slithering through her slit skin. Taking a long, kinked strand, she pulls it taut until it snaps. It falls to the floor, once one, now two.
“You see?” she asks, “You see what I did to that piece of hair? You’ll end up just like that hair if you’re not real careful!”
But the gull taunts on.
“Squawk! You don’t need that fry! You’re way too fat to eat that goddamn French fry! Squawk, squawk!”
The bird’s incessant cackling simmers into salty grains of laughter that spill down and stick to her slick skin. Swiping away, trying to rid herself of the bitter granules, she slowly realizes that she’s the fry.
Long and droopy, now cold, she falls to the floor. The nasty gull comes real close, and spreads his great, gray wings. They span across her from tip to top. His beak sharp and piercing drives right into her middle and she can feel him lifting her.
As they fly higher and farther away, her other half gets smaller and smaller on the ground below.
Once one, now two.