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by Janna Hart

On Friday, November 12th, a pair of large, bright red lips appeared  to political analyst James McBead in his walk-in closet as he went  looking for his favorite grey pullover wool sweater. 

The lips, or mouth, rather, appeared by itself, without any sort of face or body; there was, in fact, nothing attached to it at all--certainly no person. It simply appeared out of nowhere--the red lips--sensuous female lips--smiling and gloriously suspended in mid-air towards the back of the closet. He also noticed teeth between them, straight teeth, fairly white, but without the fluorescent sheen of the lips. 

When he first saw them--lips and teeth--he blinked. They remained. Even after he shut his eyes and counted to ten and took two deep breaths, they were still there when he opened his eyes. 

"Hello, Mr. McBead," the lips said, speaking evenly and companionably, after a reasonable pause, waiting, presumably, for him to become at ease with their presence in his private closet. And although the voice spoke quietly, it filled the space with a depth and resonance that was all wrong for a closet. It sounded like it spoke from the hollow depths of an echoing cavern. 

"Uh, uh...why, hello...who are you?" James asked. His voice sounded weak, flat, closet-like. And suddenly, the voice spoke again from within the marvelous lips, this time neither evenly nor companionably--it thundered forth: "SPEAK UP, MCBEAD!" the lips frowning and darkening a lurid crimson and rushing--whooshing! towards him. And although he couldn't be sure, he thought that's what happened. The lips either shot forward at him, or else simply tripled in size, growing as large as his head, but the effect was of their moving very fast towards him from a great distance, which was, of course, impossible in a small closet. 

"Uh, Hello, I guess..." James backed up a step. 


"HELLO!" he cried out, and then turned and then ran from the closet, slamming the door behind him--which only partially muffled the sound of the horrible explosion which he then heard from within. His heart pounded and sweat dripped down his armpits. He felt hot--far too hot--his need for a sweater no longer an issue. 

"James, Honey...?" Another voice spoke, the voice of his wife, Marianne. She walked into the room from the bathroom, a green towel wrapped around her head. 

"James, Darling? What's wrong?" 

Fresh from the shower, her pink face formed an expression of concern. She paused in front of him. "You look like you've just seen a ghost. Why, you're white as a sheet!" 

James stared at her, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Then he ran from the room and dashed down the stairs. 

"James!" she cried, following him to the top of the stairs. "Hey! What's the matter?" 

Too late, he'd already run out the front door and she heard the car door open and slam shut from the driveway as he started the ignition and backed away from the house, jerking the transmission and then tearing down the street, the engine screeching into the distance... 

(end of part one) 

...uh folks, now what happens?

Any advice? 

(thanks for listening) 

-- Janna Hart

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