by Peter M. Ball

“Let me guess,” I said, lighting up. “There’s evidence of bruising and internal bleeding in the vaginal cavity, injuries consistent with rape victims assaulted by a sharp object?”

Heath nodded, grinning. He was enjoying this a little too much. “It gets weirder.”

“I’ll bet.” I closed my eyes and went with my gut. “Scars on the hymen, like it’d healed up after it had been ripped. Glitter in the vaginal cavity? Glowing maggots in the uterus?”

Heath’s smile vanished. “Yeah,” he said. “How’d you know?”

“I’ve seen this before,” I said. Heath grabbed a pair of forceps and folded back the cut along the uterus. You could see the formless shapes within, tumbling and wiggling in the fleshy sack of the womb. The largest of them was already glowing, its sulphurous light disguising tiny arms and legs as they grew from the pearlescent blob. Another hour and it’d be done, a wisp of malicious magic in an inherited human form. “Fuck.” I breathed against the cigarette so I didn’t have to smell the noxious, sugary scent that rose up. “She’s been raped by a unicorn.”

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