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Dr. S. Jay Lebow’s life and work in civil rights has been profiled in the New York Times and the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, NPR and CNN. He holds a BA in ancient history from Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio), a Masters in Medieval history from Hebrew Union College (Cincinnati, Ohio), and a Doctorate of Divinity in Jewish and Christian Mysticism from the Jewish Institute of Religion (Jerusalem, Israel).

His most recent scholarly works is “Separation/Individuation and Oedipal Motifs in the Genesis Narrative” (Journal of Reform Judaism).

“And I haven’t had a thing to eat all day” is his first try at writing a horror story!


Trigger Warning

Is It Safe To Come Inside? The bass player looked down at her face and remembered that he had forgotten to put new litter in the cat box.

“There’s going to be a mess when I get home,” he whispered to her.

As he looked at her he thought about how pretty she had been when he had picked her up at the club that night. But now, after he had slapped her, the eyes were red and swollen shut.

“It’s all your fault,” he said to the girl. “You know you made me do this, right?”

He dressed and left her apartment. Sally Vesper was starting a career as the first “White Reggae and Country singer.” She had picked up the guitarist at Club Robinette that night who had the unlikely name “Gene Whiskey.”

Foolishly, she blamed herself.

“I am the one who asked him back,” she said to herself as she stood in the shower after he was gone.

She took a psychoactive drug and slept for an entire day. When she woke up she went through her underwear drawer and found a package of new underwear. She threw out every other pair of panties in the drawer and put on the only new ones she had. She was reporting to her new job that day, “Cybernetic Plastic Surgery of Old Miami.”

“You leave with more than when you came in,” said the internet advertising for the clinic.

“Welcome to our clinic,” said Doctor Stacie when he came into the examination room. “Did our clinical manager explain what we needed from you?”

“Yes,” she said. “He told me you needed subjects to attach cybernetic enhancements to their bodies to see how they would work out before you went for full FDA approval.”

“That’s right,” he said, as he indicated to the nurse anesthetist to begin.

“You’re going to wake up with some new part and let’s see how that works out for you.”

When she woke up from the surgery, a few hours later, she had an extra mouth on the side of her face.

“What does it do?” she asked the doctor.

“We’re experimenting to see if you can talk with your regular mouth,” he said. “And then drink with the other one on the side of your face.”

“Fair enough,” she said. “Hand me a drink and a phone. We’ll see if I can do both simultaneously.”

For the next several weeks she came into the clinic and the doctor took off and then put on new cybernetic implants all over her body.

“We’re going to give you a third eye,“ the doctor explained one day. “It will be attached to your pineal gland, at the base of your skull.”

“After the procedure we’re going to make you walk backwards for a month,” he said. “Let’s see if you can get around just using that third eye.”

After months of wearing an extra mouth or an extra eye she approached the doctor one morning at the clinic.

“I have an idea for the next implant,” she said. “Am I allowed to suggest possible enhancements?”

“Of course,” he said. “I’d love to hear your thoughts.”

She explained her plan to him and all he said was, “fine, come in tomorrow morning. Let’s see what we can do.”

After weeks of healing she went back to Club Robinette on a Wednesday night.

“Do you remember me?” she asked the bass player at the end of his set that night.

“Not really,” he said. “But I’m off now. Can we go back to your place?”

When they came into her apartment, she turned off the lights and lit a single candle.

A few minutes later he looked down at her face. Her eyes were open and he noticed that she wasn’t crying.

She had an odd expression on her face.

“Do you know what a Chinese handcuff is?” she asked.

“Oh my God,” he blurted out. “Do you actually have teetth down there?”

“Yes,” she whispered in his ear. “In fact, I’m famished. I haven’t eaten anything all day.”

As Gene screamed that one last time she blew out the candle and the only light left in the room was the final sliver of a dying moon.

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