by EMMA MUNRO
ake the gift and turn it upside down.
David turns upside down. His best friends, Mike and Laurie, puff on bath salts, watch Psycho on fast-forward, and flick through ‘Making Gifts for Mother’s Day’. They tear open a bag filled with acrylic jewels, glitter, modeling clay, paint pads, glue sticks, colored elastic, feathers and colored sand.
Paint the gift with an acrylic paint of your choice on the inside as well as the outside.
The paint brushes tickle. The upside-down David giggles. They each sniff glue.
Put the costume in a safe place where the paint can dry.
Upright again, and hungry, David chews a paint pad sprinkled with glitter and angel dust. As he rolls in the colored sand, Mike and Laurie consult the manual.
Hot glue your favorite decorative finishes to the gift, but be sure to hold the costume immobile until firmly attached.
Laurie picks up the glue gun. "Jewels first, feathers second."
"Colored elastic first, glitter second." Mike winds a rainbow of elastic round David's neck.
David snorts cocaine and gurgles. "All together."
All four craft essentials are applied. Not even the knocking on the door, Hello? David? I know you're in there!, interrupts their creative flow.
Mike whispers, "It's okay. She can't get in."
The shouting persists, Dinner's on the table. I made cheeseburger macaroni and whoopee pies!
David shakes a leg, entranced by how he sparkles.
"This'll be the best Mother’s Day yet," Mike says.
We're all waiting for you.
Laurie stalls. Relights her pipe, inhales, and shares it. Come home! The yelling becomes fluorescent, and with each new syllable a firework blasts under the door and lights up the room. David, please. Mike and Laurie look up the next step in the manual. They take a different approach.
Add extra shine to your gift, varnish for a gloss finish.
This is the last time ... Oh, I give up. The voice fades away. David admires his shine in the mirror while Mike fills his orifices with fast-setting modeling clay.
Reheat the costume to melt the glaze and seal with a blowtorch.
David passes out. They think.
Mike glues a limp David to a plastic chair. Laurie wields the blowtorch. David sparks and sizzles.
Admire your finished product.
The burnt flesh, melted glue, and scorched varnish become a liquid flame.Mike and Laurie admire their craftwork even as they become part of it.
Emma Munro's fiction has appeared in Borderlands, Every Day Fiction, Skin to Skin, Pure Slush, Story Shack Magazine and Cosmos Magazine.
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