|He is sitting on my chest. It feels hard
to breed. There's a packet of Marlboroughs in his hand and a cigarette already
placed in his mouth. He lights it - throwing the still burning match somewhere
back over his head - forcing smoke through his nostrils.
"So you're dead," he says. I try to speak but he gestures me not to. "Gotcha tongue," he is dangling a limp, bloody thing before my eyes. And I have to swallow tasting salt and blood and pain. For a while we are silent. I look at him and he seems to be watching the sky.
"Look..." I say suddenly, not surprised that I am able to speak. "Why don't you give me my tongue back?
"Why should I?" he hisses. "So you can run and tell!"
"I won't tell. Promise," I say with blood pouring down between my lips.
"You don't need it. See... you're talking and I've still got your tongue."
"But how am I supposed to..."
"WHAT!" he shouts. "You're dead, man! What the hell do you think you're supposed to?" I prepare to answer but he puts his palm over my mouth. "The only thing you're supposed to is continue being dead. OK?" He emphasizes the last word, pushing his weight harder over my chest, making me gasp for air.
"Ok..." I say and he smiles. He takes another puff from his cigarette, faces the sky and I close my eyes.
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