BISECTED TO LIFE
by Matthew Sanborn Smith
Existential aliens split us open and what came out was not blood and muscle and marrow, but our true selves. I became a man of black rubber bands who became attached to everyone who had ever touched his life and was pulled in all directions for the duration of the experiment. My wife Hilda sprang to life as a wrecking ball dead weight, pulling me down to my ideal hell at the same time my leg, wrapped around her neck, choked the life from her. Our babies escaped their human shells in violent puffs of smoke.
To another it might seem harrowing, what the aliens did to us, but honestly, we had already grown accustomed to the situation before they ever showed up. We felt not shock so much as relief that we could finally show each other how much we suffered and point the blame with the whole of our very beings.
When it concluded, things changed. Not just for us, but for everyone in the world. Divorces were rampant. Games and distractions were gently set aside and we went about the business of helping one another. Hilda and I simply walked a block away from each other, each with a child in hand. We tried hard to stand for something beyond mere suffering. We transformed our lives and when the aliens came back again, we welcomed their next experiment.
I became a young oak . . .