***We made a bunch of special Black and white prints for some customers at the comic cons this year…they turned out so well we sold-out of a few of them. This is one of John’s favorites. We posted other versions of it – with flash-fiction stories and poetry – previously, but this time it’s just the image…and it is enough. -Marsha
The worms had invested several generations into this project. They were steadfast and intrepid. It took months to meticulously scour every inch of the box to find flaws in the smooth laminate – the tiniest gaps in the seal, then year upon year of boring , rotting and tunneling through hard woods and glues. They had never met Faith…had no idea what kind of person she was but from the quality of her box, they trusted that she had taste…was tasteful. (Tasty?)
The worms celebrated their first breakthrough as a holiday. It was a momentous achievement. A pauper’s box was easy to tap but was quickly overrun by poachers, a rich person’s box – though a major endeavor – was a rich prize. The worms took time to reflect and remember their forebears who began this campaign with such hope and ambition. It was good to be a worm and sure to get better…
…But, when they finally breached Faith’s inner cavern, they were appalled at the stench. It wasn’t the tasteful (rotten) odor of a well fed, well groomed lady, whose conquest would fill their bellies as much as their pride, it was the vile reek of toxins…death to worms. They found Faith, in brand name products.
She was slathered in chemical cosmetics, pumped full of formaldehyde, lead and mercury and her flesh, saturated with food additives and preservatives. She had fake hair, fake nails, fake boobs, lips and joints. She looked as perfectly pickled now as the day she was buried…but for the worms, Faith was completely inedible. Disconsolate and defeated, they turned away wondering what the modern world was coming to.
***Some would qualify Faith, with all her enhancements, as a “cyborg” (how exciting!). However, the products which enhanced her beauty…shortened her life. Oh, but never mind that! I’m sure she’s been looking up at her corpse this past decade, quite proud of its everlasting glamour. As to the worms, there isn’t much hope. Perseverance and integrity don’t count for much any more… meanwhile today’s graveyards are tomorrow’s superfund sites. -Marsha