The toothbrush has had it. Six bristles left to tickle out specks and scum, bent, crippled, and sad. The handle itself is made of rock, much chipped away, but still heavy with minerals. The brush has to be held with two hands and works even better if there is someone else to help. The bristles were removed from the pelt of some unknown animal, perhaps a kind of exotic boar. A gigantic beast, whatever it was. We shouldn’t talk about it. It is my brush, has always done me well, and could knock out more teeth than a drunk gorilla with a pair of brass knuckles, and as I scrub away at what’s left of the skeleton poking through the meat of my mouth, I cry, knowing that our time left together now is brief, and how quickly it has moved from passing to past.

Zack Wentz’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in New York Tyrant, Weird Tales, Nerve, Fiction International, Black Clock, >kill author, Mad Hatters’ Review, Swink, Word Riot, elimae, Vestal Review, Smith Magazine’s six-word memoir anthology, Not Quite What I Was Planning, and elsewhere. His novel, The Garbageman and the Prostitute, was published by Chiasmus Press. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of New Dead Families.