“Rendition” Dark Fiction by Jan Cronos

It is her rendition that is not a performance for the audience is a cabal. It is a covert interrogation. They deem it an intervention but that is a matter of definition. Her own arms are defined, the musculature interlaced with veins punctured by a variety of finely pointed needles and there is also needlework on her thighs- in that case graven images or purple and ochre graphics commonly called tats. She has inscribed herself in color inlaid on flesh.

A moment’s pause in the rendition: she has stopped breathing-the onlookers gasp at what they don’t understand.

“Has she overdosed?,” a hoarse voice inquires.

With a gush of wind from her hinter parts, she responds, then woofs a cryptic retort.

“She’s gone with the wind,” her birth mother laments.


This is indeed a performance she has put on for the folks-for the older sister straitlaced and stiff faced who’s an old maid and the pop who officiated at the family beer blasts called dinners she never attended and the whoring aunt whose critical rhetoric was a source of frustration. Her own rendition to counter their rendition: “I am no terrorist,” she blurts, knowing they are terrified by her lifestyle, by her consorts, by the bedraggled men with protruding bulges she hangs with, fearing one day she will hang herself. She knows her fear matches their own, she is roped in, swathed in self-pity. Her self-control is abrogated. The chemical agents have indoctrinated her. She has met with Joe Black and sucked his gurgling lips. Her rendition is complete with several expletives from multiple sources, inside and out-a veritable barrage that batters her. The cabal is complicit in her incipient suicide. Her last words are illustrated, and her wounds bleed toxic.

Author lives and writes in NYC.

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