Benjamin William Cunningham the Third—Hyphy Bob is his name—is open-minded.

So I walk right in. Through the gaping head-hole, the would-be morning commute for now-defunct neurons. Bullet smoke lingers—the shameful stain of the deed. Blood jelly wraps me in stale, coagulated thoughts.

Bearing the title of Hyphy’s Half-conscience, I suppose I should take a gander. The brain technician’s post-mortem, one might say.

From the opposite end of the tunnel, Hyphy’s other Half-conscience approaches. That causeless imp, the Mad Hatter. Grin ablaze, eyes bloodshot, drugged by craze. Like me, but madder—”Oy, Hatter!” I call.

“Hare!” he shouts. Our words echo back and forth, emptily, a perverted poltergeist of Hyphy’s inner monologue. “Strange goings-on! Strange goings-on, indeed!” His voice is maniacal, always. His grin stretches, ripping open his face.

“Strange, strange goings-on!” I reply. My fur stands on end, always.

“And he was such a peaceful, happy boy!” says the Hatter, now tonguing the flesh-wall. Brain juice paints his face—dead moral beliefs below the eyes, once-was human compassion dyeing the teeth.

“He was,” I say. “A truly angelic boy. Whatever could have happened?”

We share a thunder-laugh; blood-goo quakes.

A piercing noise outside brings us to start. The Hatter crawls through brain-stuff—”Warm!” he says—and through the eyes observes.

“It’s the mother!” Hatter calls.

And so it is. As she runs in, her shriek is fear on chalkboard. The Hatter and I run out the head-hole, not to be discovered. We sprint toward the bed, high on laugh-gas, slumber party glee.

Under the bed, we watch:

Crying, hysterics.

Melodrama pulp.

Nausea in the works.

“Shall we?” Hatter whispers. His acid-grin is my soul, pictorially.

From out the bed we sprint—horizontal hate, two paths of least resistance.

And reaching her, we leap. Onto either shoulder, where Young Hyphy once cooed. Into her temple I burrow, my teeth the guide. And once inside—Sweet human brain!—I grab the thought levers.

“Onward!” is Hatter’s call, vibrato in a newly-buzzing brain.

My guts are buzzing, always.

And out the door we stroll—Mrs. Hyphy Bob is our name—beyond this room, toward a world unready.

“Steady, girl!” I call. We thunder-laugh—the Hatter and I—electric Hell-notes. And on we march, unsteady, always.