Walking a country road one late evening, I came upon a woman who carried a disarming valise. Quiere comprar una fruta? she asked. I expected her to open her carriage, but she instead displayed a family of stones, each cut into a different kind of fright: a skull, a devil’s head, a killer, a venture capitalist. I chose an Olmec head after my own design and promptly brought it home. It made a wonderful chopping board, I was so proud. Then it began to tremble. Oh sinner, what have you worshipped? The head cracked open in wailing under the soft cotton. A tassel of snakes, precious purely through infancy, tumbled out. They slithered up my paralyzed legs and into my eyes, nose and mouth. My head felt like a tube filled with maps. My eyes saw lightning or spirits, it was hard to tell. Little darlings controlled me and I wept. I travelled back to that old country road and the woman now rolling a jukebox along the cobbles. Very quickly I was emptied. The snakes slid into the lighted slot where loose change should go. Thank you, the woman said. I haven’t heard that song in years.