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It’s my partner’s family get together this weekend.

So, I contract laryngitis.

‘It feels like I’m swallowing hot glass via glue gun.’

‘Yeah. Just like my last family gathering when you came down with shingles?’

‘You saw the bumps and cuts. You can’t fake lesions!’

‘Ok. Why not take some OJ with a painkiller and calm your throat?’

‘Alright. I’ll only take a few.’

‘Did you see there’s a horror marathon over the weekend?’

‘Did your throat clear up in time for my family bruncheon?’

‘Still a bit scratchy. The OJ didn’t help.’

‘Why don’t you rest your larynx and hop into bed?’

‘But it’s six o’clock on a Friday night!?’

‘The rest will prepare you for the weekend. Go get some shut eye.’

I’m forced into the stuffy, warm bedroom.

Clearly punishment for what ails me.

I stew for hours in the sheets while she preps dinner.

Her dinner call bellows down the hall, upstairs, around the banister, and into the bedroom.

‘We’re having yesterday’s chips with today’s lunch meat on crackers. Bit dry.’

Bit dry. I’ll show you dry.

‘I’ll just have last week’s meatloaf. Should still be good.’

‘It might have built the wrong bacteria by now. Try something else?’

Why can’t I have what I want?

This sick stint was poorly conceived.

‘I’ll get into the old take away. That stuff’s built to last.’

‘You sure you’re not opening yourself up to bad cultures?’

‘Fine. Canned spaghetti it is.’

‘Your throat won’t like the cheesetamines. Try ginger tea instead!’

I’ve got to get out of this.

Somehow, I could become REALLY unwell.

A little while later I saunter to the lounge.

Making sure to turn up the theatrics.

My ankle hits the corner.

I fall onto the coffee table.

My back hits saggy ply.

‘My stomach! It burns! Call an Exorcist! Get the Alien abortionist! Call someone!’

‘Ah, yeah. Like we needed medical intervention for your stubbed toe before Christmas!?’

‘No really, I’m dying!

‘The timing’s just right. Our family’s gathering for brunch. Why not make it your funeral?’

I punch my fist through the stomach of my baby-blue jumper. Like an alien piston.

‘It’s alive!’

‘What is!?’

‘How ‘bout a leftover medley! Cop this!’

And that’s when it hit her to walk away.

A cloud of fridge death by accelerated colon kick the air into gear.

‘You’re a pest! An Exopest!’

That’s when she left.

First to go stay at her mums.

Then it was the slow burn of forever.

Forever farting, in my ears.

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