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The standard

grey bed sheet issued by Management gathered in pleats around my waist, the cotton soaked red to resemble a beautiful sunset I’d once seen in a magazine. A long pinkish tail slipped from under the cover, wagging in rhythm to a faint gnawing sound. Two black eyes peered at me through the fingers of my ribcage. The rest of its body lost in the tangle of my intestines. I screamed aloud, but not in pain. I screamed only to scare the rat away. But the rat did not move. The transformation of the old Shipping Level to accommodate freights had happened in my first year at Factory 37, so did the replacement of fossil fuels to wind turbines to power the main generators. I did not see any of these changes. Management sent a memo to all accommodation blocks explaining the details and benefits. This is how I found out about the extinction of #34297. I had met #34297 once during a refreshment break. He was occupying the restroom. Other than the nurse, it was the first time I had seen another Employee in twenty years. His face was under reconstruction. His jaw was missing so he couldn’t talk, but he was able to write words on a piece of paper for me to read. I still have it hidden under the venting unit in my bedroom. It said, Where do the bones come from? The Aspiration Line is a stretch of conveyor running five miles from Mother to the Shipping Yard, and it is my main place of work. Management sent an artist’s impression of what

His jaw was missing so he couldn’t talk, but he was able to write words on a piece of paper for me to read . . . It said,

Where do the bones come from?

Profile for Conjectural Figments

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

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