Site icon Alexander Hammil


Alex stood shivering in the doctor’s office. It was early in the morning — so early the sun hadn’t risen yet and outside the sky was red and sullen, city lights thrown onto the clouds from beneath.

“Please remove your clothes.” The doctor’s voice — if it was the doctor’s voice — came from nowhere; it welled out of the furniture and the tongue depressors, came rustling up from the sheet of paper laid down over the patient bed.

Alex took off his shirt and his shoes and his pants and hugged his bare chest, uncomfortable in his underwear and his socks.

“Please remove your clothes.”

Off came the underwear and the socks and he kept his hands cupped around the heat of his genitals.

“Please remove your clothes.”

Alex sighed and hooked his fingers behind his ears. Off came his skin, off came his hair. His muscles gleamed wetly in the fluorescent light.

“Please remove your clothes.”

Off with the muscles. He was down to nerves and bones.

“Please remove your clothes.”

Just bones. His brain sat tidily on top of his clothes.

“Please remove your clothes.”

Alex hesitated, rattled his knuckles against his zygomatic arch, all that remained of his cheek. “I,” he said.

“Please remove your clothes.”

He was down to black earth and ivy; everything else sat folded more or less neatly on several chairs.

“Please remove your clothes,” the voice repeated.

“There’s nothing left to remove,” said Alex. “This is the bedrock.” A spider ran out of the cavern of his mouth, and disappeared.

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