Two Fictions
Eric Beeny

The End Is Getting Younger

His life is an asterisk referring to a blank footnote. A movie with no script. There are no scenes longer than him going to bed forever.
He looks at his finger, bends it, straightens, points it at himself.
He is not a paid underwear model. Brushing his teeth is harder when he knows he has to get out of bed before forever ends.
How can he leave the emptiness alone there, without him?
It's been so long since he's looked at himself in the mirror and smiled without thinking he can't escape.
And why should he. Just by staying alive he dies. This means he's alive. This means the end is getting younger.
He finds it encouraging to see elderly men using urinals.

The Growth

She smiles at the orchids growing from her scalp, her armpits, the palms of her hands. They smell like fresh milk, tickle her skin. Her mother bathes her in the sink.
She got her test results yesterday. Her mother is worried about her. She's been yawning a lot. Her mother is afraid she'll fall asleep and not wake up. They stay up all night.

There's nothing on television. Her mother sits on the couch with her, pouring water into her mouth, making her drink it.
Her mother turns the heat up all the way. She never has to use the bathroom. Her sweat waters the flowers growing from her scalp, her armpits, the palms of her hands. The smell is awful.
In the morning her mother places her by the window, opens the curtains. She looks out the window. She sees where the garden used to be.