“Auntie Barb Saves the World,” by Christina Scott

Aug 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

Diary of Auntie Barb, March 27th, 2042

(Written in pigeon blood, on the inside of four dried and stretched scalps)

Scalp 1: (Brunette male, crew cut) I’m leaving this note for my progeny. In the future, I will be known as the Savior of the World. You’re probably reading this from behind a glass box in some overrated museum where you have to eat Triscuits and sip apple juice while looking really constipated. Congratulations on finding the only cool thing on display. The scalp I’m writing on was from a guy you would have liked. Running out of room. I’ll switch to the redhead.

Scalp 2 (Red-headed female, shoulder length hair) In the Fall of 2013 I discovered my breast cancer had metastasized. I was given six months to live, so I made a will and endowed all my belongings on my niece, Amber. I hadn’t seen her in several years, but I remembered her as a child. When she lost her stuffed squirrel Theodore at age five and walked around the house and told me in a matter-of-fact voice that she needed Theodore to sleep, I decided she was good people. When she told me that Theodore was dead, and then killed a real squirrel to bury in the yard as substitute, I knew that she was after my own heart. Perhaps literally. The Apocalypse broke out a month and two days after my diagnosis (asteroids, demons, zombies, giant pits to hell) and I had nothing better to do, so I decided to find my niece.

Scalp 3: (Brown-haired male, Buzz-cut) I stopped taking my chemo, since I was about to run out anyway. (My own scalp would never grow hair again, even after stopping chemo. ) I packed a bag of essentials (hunting knife, spelunking gear, can of beans, flash light) and started toward Nebraska, where my niece lived. After a day or so I began to vomit and became dizzy often. I thought maybe I would die in the first few days, and if so, at least I had tried. But then I was staying in an abandoned house, its windows shattered and most of the food already picked over. I woke up in the middle of the night and discovered I was levitating above the bed. It was then I understood that the Apocalypse had cured me of my cancer.

Scalp 4: (Punk-esque green Mohawk, gender unknown) I decided that I was sick of being bald. I levitated back down to the floor and found a cleaver in the kitchen. I then wandered outside and walked through the wreckage of the neighborhood looking for a corpse. I found one in the middle of the street by a burning red Ford Fusion. The man was in his late thirties and had a crew cut. I hacked his hair off and put his scalp on my head, and for the first time in years felt strong.


Christina Scott is a graduate of the MFA writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in Spry Literary Magazine, Maudlin House, The Quotable, Animal Literary Magazine, and Riding Light. “Inhuman” was nominated for Best of the Net 2016.

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