Ad Nauseam - By C. W. LaSart

Jimmy squatted by the garden, his elbows resting on dirty knees. He pushed back his ball cap to scratch his receding hairline, squinting in the early morning sunlight at the small pile of gleaming guts in the grass.

Hmmmmph! Now what the hell is that? Though it was only a thought, he still flinched, waiting for Mama to cuff his ear for cursing. Mama had been dead and buried for over a year, but he still felt her presence, hovering in anticipation of his next infraction.

Edna DeLeon hadn’t raised her only child to be a foul mouth.

The guts looked clean, not bloody like they’d been torn out by a cat or something. Jimmy thought they probably came from a rabbit or squirrel. A tiny, dark organ that may have been the liver was attached to the innards by a vessel no thicker than a thread. He poked at the pile with his index finger, wondering how it came to be in his yard, and where the rest of the unfortunate critter was. His finger began to tingle and he pulled it back in surprise. There was a faint odor around the pile he hadn’t noticed before, not the sort of nasty smell one associated with entrails, but a light, musky odor. It was almost pleasant. Jimmy inhaled deeply to breathe in more of the scent.

As the unusual smell flooded his senses, he regarded the pile of guts with more curiosity than distaste. James DeLeon was a lot of things, but squeamish was never one of them. He grabbed the squishy pile of guts in his bare hand, meaning to throw them on the compost heap at the edge of the garden, but one end of the intestines seemed stuck to the grass. He tugged slightly, the slimy rope stretching a bit before the resistance he felt became a pulling of its own. It slipped through his hand and disappeared into the ground, with a faint slurping noise that reminded him of eating his Mama’s spaghetti.

What on Earth?

The entire mess was gone; only a small, irregular hole in the ground marked where it had been. Jimmy blinked. Had that really just happened? Did the ground really just suck those guts up like pasta?

His whole hand tingled now and, though it had faded somewhat, the unusual scent lingered. Jimmy leaned forward, his nose pressed to the grass as he peered into the tiny hole left behind. It was hardly bigger than a drinking straw, the edges dark with raw soil. It actually looked like an earthworm burrow. The way the intestines had wriggled out of his hand was certainly worm-like.

Jimmy straightened up and wiped his hands on his overalls before heading down the path to the house. It was awfully warm this morning and he’d been working in the garden for a while. His back was sore from being hunched over so long and he accepted that he wasn’t a kid anymore. Maybe he should just go in and have himself a cool glass of water and a short nap. He decided it was a good idea and, resisting the urge to glance back at where the little pile had been, he mounted the steps and entered the house.

He had almost convinced himself the whole thing hadn’t happened, or that maybe it had been a big ol’ night crawler he’d gotten hold of, but one thing still troubled him. As he went about his daily chores, the same question kept returning to his mind.

Why would a pile of innards, or an earthworm for that matter, have given him half a hard-on?


Jimmy suffered fitful dreams that night and woke up early the next morning, feeling tired and a little hung-over.

When Mama had been alive, she never allowed beer in the house. The day he put her in the ground out at Shady Pines Cemetery, Jimmy brought home a twelve-pack and, in the year since, made a habit of keeping beer in the fridge at all times. It was no longer her house.

It still looked like her house, the same frilly drapes and matching hand-towels adorned the master bathroom.

He hadn’t touched anything in her bedroom. But he considered the place his now, to be ruled under his rules. The beer was the first change. Jimmy had never lived alone before; never left his mother’s nest. Initially, he feared he would be lonely, but found the absence of Mama’s constant harping and slapping refreshing. He did miss her cooking, though.

After a long shower (there was no one