An Act of Consumption, in Two Parts
by Michelle Muenzler
In the basement, there is candy. Boxes teetering atop boxes, overloaded with gum gums and chew worms and those little nougat-filled eyeballs that blink when you stare overlong; with honeyed do's and honeyed dont's; with tar braids and clots of candied floss.
The basement has all the candy you've ever dreamed of, a sticky thrill in every box that's yours and yours alone because only you know where the basement door is currently hiding.
The basement, unfortunately, is also full of spiders.
Your roommate thinks you're crazy. She writes letters to her great-aunt about you, stacks and stacks of them pressed and yellowed like dried daffodils. They rub against each other at night and keep you up, they're so noisy. You can't sleep on the same floor as the letters, so you grab your pillow--the one with your baby footprints ink-stained atop it along with your vital birth statistics--and drag yourself through the hole behind the fridge to the secret landing where the basement door is yawning as though it only just awoke.
You tell it about the letters, about your roommate, and it gives what might be sage advice if you too were a door.
Then you bring up the spiders.