by Belinda Roddie
The mind of a madman is a very dangerous place to be. In those folds of gray matter, words go in and screams come out, and all the dreams stored there sit with harsh laughter weeping from their pores. There are craters, pits you can fall into and never be able to scramble out of; the walls are still slippery for you to get a firm grip, and you risk asphyxiation once the folds of thoughts finally enclose around your fragile body.
The cerebral cortex becomes a vortex for grand scheme plans for redemption - or domination. The cerebellum can only bring physical balance, not mental or emotional. And there's still a little bit of aggressive T-Rex in those stem synapses.
And then comes the junk, hard in the vein of the madman. What is meant to sedate makes him more active. He runs marathons at midnight in boxers and gets a tattoo on his chest that says, "I Only Have Days Left." He leaves the parlor in flames. No one knows where he got the matches.
I packed up my suitcase after a few weeks in his brain. The spongy morass was mottled and puckered, like chicken pox on dying skin. The warmth had turned into a gross, tropical heat wave that soaked me through my shirt and turned my sweat into a personal monsoon. I was planning to stay longer - rent was cheap, utilities free - but the cinema had become rather daunting to sit through. And there were no refunds. I slithered out using his left ear canal and made my way toward his neighbor's little house on the street corner. I can't take fresh air for long. Parasites don't thrive well in the open.
I turned around only once to see the madman sit on the curb, his head tucked between his legs like a cannon ball. He cackled for a minute, then fell silent. There was perspiration on the bridge of his nose. A little ribbon of blood hung loosely from his left ear. Nearby, the sirens of fire trucks became howls, and he joined in.
His neighbor's mind would be a much more peaceful residence.
This week's prompt was provided by Arden Roddie.