The God Whose Oracle is at Delphi Neither Speaks Nor Remains Silent

The light had burned out years ago and someone had smashed it with a shoe. The glass was strewn across the floor of the hallway, jagged shards among vials and syringes.

The door opened to his knock and the smell that billowed out made him cough and his eyes water. He choked down vomit. She was watching him fixedly over the chains.

“Are you the oracle?” he asked at last, rattled.

“Give,” she said. Her teeth were black and rotten. “Give me.” She held out a hand. Her fingers had been broken and improperly set. He pulled the heroin out of his jacket and she snatched it from his hand. The door slammed shut.

“Hey! Hey! You mad bitch, open the door!” He kicked it and threw his shoulder against it until the door across the hall crashed open and a naked man pointed a gun at him.

“Shut the hell up,” said the man. His penis was red and inflamed.

The oracle’s door opened and she pulled him into the apartment. A length of rubber tubing was looped tight around her upper arm and she held the needle in her other hand.

“Ask,” she said. “Quickly, now. Ask.”