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The seizure hits him like a crashing wave.
Del Amico’s body goes rigid, and he drops backward, his head narrowly missing the corner of the motel dresser. He makes a strangled sound. He sits upright on his knees, but then his back arches and his shoulder blades press hard against the matted Berber.
Miriam rubs her eye.
“I know what you’re thinking,” she says as Del’s eyes start to bulge like champagne corks ready to pop. “Jeez, why doesn’t this broad stick a wallet under my tongue? Couldn’t she do me a solid? Or maybe you’re thinking, hey, I’ve had seizures before, and none of them killed me. A guy can’t actually swallow his own tongue, right? That’s just a myth? Or maybe, just maybe, you think I’m some kind of batshit highway witch with magical powers.”
He gurgles. His cheeks go red. Then purple.
Miriam shrugs, wincing, watching it unfold with grim fascination. Not that this is the first time she’s seen it.
“Not so, my friendly neighborhood whore-puncher. This is your destiny, to choke on your own mouth meats, to expire here in this God-fucked motel in the middle of Hell’s half-acre. I’d do something if I could, but I can’t. Were I to put the wallet under your tongue, I’d probably only push the tongue in deeper. See, my mother used to say, ‘Miriam, it is what it is.’ And this, Del Amico, is that.”
Froth bubbles out over Del’s ashen lips. The blood vessels in his eyes burst.
Just like she remembers it.
(From Chapter One of BLACKBIRDS, by Chuck Wendig. Read the whole chapter here.)
(c) Chuck Wendig 2012, Blackbirds Art by Joey Hi-Fi (Angry Robot Books)