Amy in Twenty Chapters

by Nick Sansone

Chapter One:

On a dusky night in mid-August, a slithering sperm cell snaked its way through the labyrinthine passages that brought it face to face with a mighty egg cell. Humbling itself before the enormous egg, the sperm cell bowed and requested entry.

"You going my way, stranger?" said the egg, which was the beginning of a pleasant long-term relationship.

Chapter Two:

A cluster of cells named Amy found the walls of its home contracting. Amy was being evicted. A hole was rent in her abode.

She screamed as her invisible landlady muscled her out into a world colder, brighter, and far less snug than the world she had been used to.

Chapter Three:

After months of lying around and feeling sorry for herself about her eviction, Amy decided that if she was going to be successful in this odd new world, she was going to have to crawl before she could walk.

Chapter Four:

Amy discovered that by using her lips, teeth, and tongue to funnel the sounds streaming out of her mouth, she could mimic the noises her parents seemed to find so entertaining.

"Divorce!" she said.

For the next several months, Amy's parents were careful not to make that particular sound around her again.

Chapter Five:

Amy did not like the child-farm that she was forced to attend or the mom-substitute who stood in front of the flock and excited herself over numbers, letters, and primary colors. Numbers, letters, and primary colors did not interest Amy as much as the elusive concept of justice. Never before had she been forced to share her toys.

Chapter Six:

Among the monkey bars, a boy tricked Amy into accepting a kiss. She screamed, fearing disease and social stigma.

Chapter Seven:

In the gymnasium, among streamers and banners that had been raised to commemorate the homecoming of a team that had gone nowhere, Amy jockeyed for a kiss from a certain boy.

"You're a great girl, but..." he said, and Amy didn't hear the rest.

Later that night, Amy made out passionately with a profoundly ugly young man as a form of revenge.

Chapter Eight:

"Do you ever wonder about your father?" asked a guy on whose abdomen Amy's head happened to be resting.

"What about him?"

"Who he is, maybe?"

Amy laughed and laughed.

Chapter Nine:

Amy founded an agricultural supplies company. Reporters asked her questions about the origin of her genius.

"I've always wanted to create something of my own," she told the cameras.

The company was successful, financially speaking. Amy found herself thinking often about the pH of soil and the diet of sows.

Chapter Ten:

Amy had written a speech for her mother's funeral, but she was unable to speak through her tears. The minister mercifully stepped in and encouraged everybody present to pray silently.

Chapter Eleven:

The young lawyer investigating Amy's company for corruption had recently graduated from Columbia and seemed to think he was very skillful. He had short blonde hair and crooked glasses that he often left behind at restaurants, libraries, and J.D. parties.

After winning the trial, he visited Amy at her farm.

"I'm sorry we couldn't have met under more unproblematic circumstances," he told her.

Amy kissed him on the forehead and wished she hated him.

Chapter Twelve:

Amy sold the farm and relinquished the company. She rented a small apartment in the city and became a regular at the diner downstairs. Every morning, she ordered one egg and a slice of toast from the redheaded waitress.

"Where do your eggs come from?" Amy asked one day.

"Chickens, ha-ha," said the redheaded waitress.

"I mean what farm."

"I'll look into that."

"I used to work in agriculture," Amy said. "These things are important to me."

Chapter Thirteen:

Amy joined a community gardens initiative. Her plot was on a rooftop downtown. In order to reach her garden, she had to climb up thirty flights of stairs. She refused to take the elevator, even though her knees gave her grief.

"Stop taking the stairs," said her knees.

"You've always been whiners," said Amy.

Chapter Fourteen:

"You'll want to draw together a will," said a lawyer. "Just as a precaution."

Amy looked at the lawyer and thought of him as elderly. She was pleased when she could find someone who looked elderly to her. More and more, people were looking young. Maybe this had to do with the chemicals in the water.

Chapter Fifteen:

A few of the cells that composed Amy decided to play a prank on the other cells that composed Amy. They thought it would be fun to multiply and crowd out the others. While playing their game, they lost sight of the forest for the trees. They forgot that the other cells were also Amy.

"We're all connected!" said some of the cells that weren't interested in playing the multiplying game.

The game-players dismissed this as hippy-dippy nonsense.

Chapter Sixteen:

The nurse brought Amy scrambled eggs at night, because Amy found it easy to eat scrambled eggs.

"Good job," the nurse said as Amy ate her eggs.

"I have talents other than eating," thought Amy.

Chapter Seventeen:

Medicine that wasn't Amy entered Amy and then it was also Amy. Amy's old molecules fled Amy's new molecules. The part of Amy that was medicine got stigmatized by the part of Amy that wasn't medicine, even though all of Amy wanted the rest of Amy to get along.

A priest came to visit Amy. He asked if she were religious, and Amy smiled at him even though the question confused her.

Chapter Eighteen:

"Stop it!" hollered a neuron.

All of Amy's cells stopped what they were doing and looked at the neuron.

"Let's just cooperate," said the neuron. "Do you realize how long it's been since we set our differences aside and just spent some time doing something together as a single entity?"

The parts of Amy that used to be medicine looked abashed.

"But what can we do together as a single entity?" asked part of Amy.

"I'm good at multiplying!" said the part of Amy that was good at multiplying.

"I'm good at stopping other parts of Amy from multiplying," said the part of Amy that was good at stopping other parts of Amy from multiplying.

"I'm good at fighting!" said one part of Amy.

"And I'm good at fighting back!" said another.

A tense silence ensued.

"You know what?" an endorphin finally said, cool as a cucumber. "I know what we're all good at. I bet that, if we put our minds to it, we could chill out really well."

It slowly began to dawn on everything that composed Amy that chilling out was, indeed, something that every part of her was capable of being good at.

Chapter Nineteen:

Amy chilled out, and that seemed to solve a lot of problems.

Chapter Twenty:

"It's been fun!" said the cells that used to be Amy as they parted ways. "Maybe we'll run into each other again sometime."

On a dusky night in mid-August, the cells that used to be Amy had an amicable break-up. They split, no longer Amy, ready to move on with their lives separately.

BIO: Nicolas Sansone is a student in the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the author of the novel Shooting Angels. His short fiction has appeared in a number of journals, including PANK, Pear Noir! and NANO Fiction. You can visit his website at http://nicksansone.yolasite.com.