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MUSED Literary Magazine.


E. Raymond Tatten

“Before I knew it, I’d swallowed it.”

“Why didn’t you spit it out right away?”

“I tried, but it slipped down before I knew it. It felt like a nickel going down, too.”

“What were you doing, yawning or something?”

“No, I was just, I don’t even know, really. I was opening my car door and BAM. Right in and down the hatch. It was weird.”

“Probably a bee, I’d bet. They can act pretty weird at this time of year.”

“Yeah maybe, my luck. So what now, Doc?”

“Well, nothing really, there’s not much we can do about it. Maybe pump your stomach, but that’s kind of drastic. We usually save that for emergencies – overdose or poisoning. Are you in pain? Any discomfort at all?”

“No, I mean yes…I don’t like the whole idea of it. What if it starts crawling around in my stomach? I have a big meeting in the morning, and the last thing I want is a medical issue. How about if I go try to throw up again?”

“You can try, but it’s probably dead by now. I wouldn’t worry about it. Your system will digest it.”

“If you say so.”

“What kind of meeting?”

“Pompeo called in the staff; he doesn’t usually do that either – must have plans.”

“Let me guess. Venezuela? Saudi Arabia? Iran? How’m I doing, getting warm?”

“Don’t even bother, Doc. That’s all you’re getting. I gave you too much already. It feels big though.”

* * *

In a far-away room, a technician followed a tiny green dot displayed on a computer screen and checked the words recorded before the men left the room.

“It feels big though.”

Then he finished an email:

“Device installed. System checked. IP address included. 11217.”