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[audio:https://killauthor.com/audio/issuefourteen/lauren_tamraz.mp3|titles=Old-Timey Variety Show|artists=Lauren Tamraz]

Inside his mouth is a cow. It has spots that are similar to wheat, the background pepto-pink. This cow makes many sounds, but it does not moo.

Around her neck she wears a gold and turquoise amulet. It has different forms of turquoise: greenish, blueish, blueish-greenish. These beads make a shining sun circle around the gold charm.

He stands and holds his arms in the air, reaching out to her. She rises and links her fingers through his. They make a tunnel, like one a football team or a wedding party would travel through.

On the wall behind them is a map of the town. The map is small because the town they are in tonight is small. A man leaves his barstool and approaches with a fistful of metal darts.

The man and woman turn their necks to see which houses the darts will pierce. They lean their weight toward the other and press hands like locking horns. The darts land: one, two, three.

A man beside the map records the address and family names where the darts have struck. The cow man and amulet woman release their pressure and drop their hands. Someone takes a long drink and spits it on the floor.

The woman has been sitting with a small dog since she dropped the cow man’s hands. Now she sets him down on the floor. He circles the room with one limping leg and repeats, “The rope! The matches! The kerosene! The rope! The matches! The kerosene!”