Billious knew. Billious knew the precise reason that this Teddy Graham was set upon the plate, upon the doily. The Taking of the Teddy Graham was a consummate act, sanctified, inexorable.

Mother cooed. “Billious, you might refuse to take of food. But I shall insist that you take of your medicines. We have seen your condition improve significantly with the diligent application of the medicines.”

Teddy Graham lay alone on its bed, its Graham Eyes vacant and wide, its open-armed gesture imploring. “Come, Billious,” the Teddy Graham spoke unto him in a hushed voice that had many tongues, “Take and eat of my flesh. In the taking of my flesh you shall find the favour of God.”

“I want no such favour.” Billious retorted sharply, without hesitation, “The madman spake unto the crowd of such a God - God is dead, and we have killed him. We have murdered him.” Billious pushed the plate aside in disgust.

“Billious, Billious…” Teddy Graham whispered in a voice that had many tongues, “take and eat of my flesh, place your tongue against the roof of your palate and cradle me therein. I shall dissolve in your blood and ignite your form with light. Your blood shall be luminous with stars. Your blood shall be electric, your blood shall be like fire, shall be illumed with the fire of God. You shall feel God in your veins, and then you shall know no unhappiness.”

“Such is odious and false, and I do not wish to be cured of this malaise. This malaise is an indication, a symptom, of the malaise which envelops me.” Billious laid his forearm across the vinyl surface of his booster table tray. He rested his head on his forearm, his nose pressed against the vinyl surface of his booster tray. He felt his breath moist on the vinyl, it plastered his face with warm, wet residue which he noticed was not at all like the baby’s breath of floral bouquets, not at all like those dry, powdery white orbs.

“God grant me deliverance from the vicissitudes of this hell,” Billious whispered into the blanket of his own breath.

Teddy was swift with his rebuttal, Teddy had heard.

“You have just spoken some nonsense of a madman and proclaimed God dead and murdered by the very hands of man. Do you then expect a vapour? Why do you now seek him?”

Billious did not respond, he swam silently in the dark, warm blanket of his own breath.

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