Part 1 – Pâté dé Foie Gras by Lisa Malone
Once I lived in a laudanum-fueled hallucination where, curious, as usual, I cornered a raging badger thrashing to death an unfortunate hare in a stand of scrub oaks. Turning on me, it roared louder than a whole pride of lions in the Serengeti. I peed my pants. My heart cramped, wringing itself out like a sponge. Having made the stupid mistake of following the angry beast and facing it in a Mexican standoff no more than three feet apart, I fled in slow motion as* if* in* a* dream, screaming for help I feared would never come. Now the badger was all over me, and I felt its tetanus-loaded fangs sink into my flesh. Suddenly my father rushed out of the garage armed only with a hoe. As I awoke from my hellish nightmare I managed a sigh of relief. There was not a single wound on me. Daddy and his hoe had succeeded in slinging the furious, furry demon far out into the stratosphere. The flailing badger was now a Michelin-suited Russian cosmonaut with two fuzzy ears illuminated against a backdrop of stars shining through its clear space helmet, a tether attaching its belly to the Mother Ship, and its four outstretched limbs spiraling farther and farther away from our galaxy.