by Sheleen McElhinney
Okay, picture this: We’re in an elevator. The elevator shuts down. It doesn’t matter where we’re going, only that we’re alone. The child in me presses the buttons until they all glow. He eyes the Emergency pull and I shake my head no. This time, I’m in control. I am the shapeshifter. I am the human grotesque. I grow larger in this space, loom over him like a bad dream, watch him piss his pants. I peel off my clothes and shrink down to my 11 year old self, unbudded breasts, undarkened nipples a pale bubble gum pink. He recognizes me now. I stick out my tongue and a movie plays on its fleshy surface; not the rape scene, but after. All the new names I was given, my own mother stiffing her back, taking away my dolls. I don’t cry. I gush a river of blood. The elevator reeks metallic, fills up past his manhood, up to his gaping mouth and chokes him. But I’m okay, because I know how to hold my breath.