Beet-Red Lingams Are Legion
Andrew Wayne Adams
The giant cockroach wears a Sigmund Freud mask.
“Tell me about your mother,” the cockroach says.
I lie on the couch, one hand slid inside my shirt to hold my belly-button. “My mother? She was a saint. An angel. Pure as porcelain.”
The cockroach drags its chair close. Uncomfortably close. It says, “Tell me about your father.”
I say, “Quit with the mind games, Dad.”
My dad twitches his antennas and says, “I’m only trying to help you with your problem. To realize your full potential.” He straightens his tie.
“I don’t have a problem,” I say.
“You can’t achieve an erection,” he says.
“Not true. I achieved one yesterday. At school. During an oral presentation.”
“Look,” my cockroach-father says, “I know it’s hard, your father being your psychoanalyst. But you must be straight with me if you wish to overcome this trouble with your genitals.” He pauses to light a cigar. The cigar is five feet long, two feet in diameter. “Now,” he says, blowing smoke through the mouth-hole of his Freud mask. “Tell me about your father.”
I sigh. “I’m a middle child. The two-hundred-thousandth of four-hundred-thousand. My father routinely forgot I existed. And he kept my mother from me.”
“You grew resentful,” the cockroach extends.
“I did. He took away my David Hasselhoff action figures. He always lorded his power over me.”
“Was that why you cut his penis off and stitched it to your navel?” He pulls the strings that arch the eyebrows of his mask. His many legs wriggle.
I don’t respond. I lie on the couch, one hand slid inside my shirt to hold my belly-button. It’s an outie.
My father says, “I have a surprise guest.” He rises from his chair and twitches toward the closet. When he returns, he is holding a porcelain vase. The vase is tall and fat. Wide-mouthed. Red and black with a pattern of circles and arches and breasts.
My father lays her on the table next to the couch. She stares at me, silent. The cockroach’s eyes go back and forth between us.
Slowly, my belly-button rises, grows stiff.
I jump up from the couch and point a finger at my father. “You bastard!” I shout, and rush at him.
The cockroach rips off its mask. My father’s long, pointy beard confronts me. I pull a gun from my front pocket and shoot him. He collapses, clutching a blooming flower of blood on his thorax.
“Good,” he says, gasping. “We’re finally getting to the bottom of this deep-seated issue.”
I shoot him again.
“Good, good,” he says.
A crucifix hangs on the wall above two candlesticks. On the table sits a vase. I pick it up and lower its wide dark mouth onto my erect belly button.
The cockroach says, “You’ve made wonderful progress.” And then it dies. It takes me twenty minutes to eat the cockroach’s corpse, and another five to scrape the name off the office door and replace it with my own.
Andrew Wayne Adams lives in Ohio. His fiction his appeared in the real publication Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens and in the fake publications Donkey Vomit Aficionado and Tire-Tread Phallus Review. He is currently pursuing a degree in buggery.