As they drove past the next few intersections, Alice began to form another list, this time of things she theorized might be underneath her skin:

  1. Stuffing.
  2. Plastic pellets.
  3. Sawdust and other such wood shavings.
  4. Shredded paper.
  5. Another, smaller Alice, who also contains another smaller Alice, and so on and so forth.
  6. Cheese.
  7. Rice and beans.
  8. Ground beef.
  9. Tomatoes.
  10. The last 4 ingredients, mix and matched in ways that suggest innovation, but within the mouth and between the molars are condensed into an indistinguishable paste.
  11. Horse hair.
  12. Human hair.
  13. Small particulates from Joseph which have been slowly poisoning her with mesothelioma for the past year, explaining her recently worsening paranoid behavior.
  14. The reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
  15. A very expensive Yankee Candle collection.
  16. Human fingers with more joints than they should have.
  17. A scale model of her parents’ house.
  18. Her childhood bedroom.
  19. “The Black Cornflower,” a cool trading card that she could extract from her face and resell for enough money to invest in a house. Amazingly, it will slide out of her skin already encased within the protective sleeve and top-loader, so the blood will not be an issue. Unfortunately, she will take it out of its sleeve to transfer it into a fresh one, only to receive a phone call from the pharmacy, and in those 5 minutes Joseph will put his coffee mug on it and her future will be over.
  20. The value of the trading card in cold hard cash. This would be much simpler.
  21. An entire Paul Bunyan Onion appetizer from Timberlodge Steakhouse, complete with creamy horseradish dipping sauce. Joseph will complain that he hates the dipping sauce, and it will sit on the table untouched up until he goes to use the restroom, at which point she will drink directly from it like a shotglass.
  22. A ragdoll cat.
  23. A ragdoll.
  24. Her meds.
  25. A new, highly infectious disease, which will be named Alice Sucks And Is So Lame Disease.
  26. A Thomas Kinkade painting.
  27. A jigsaw puzzle of a Thomas Kinkade painting that is missing exactly one piece. The piece will be located behind Joseph’s eyeball. The reunion will cause an explosion comparable to dropping ice in a deep fryer.
  28. A cotton swab she had jammed into her ear, and somehow, unknowingly, it had slipped through her ear canal and into her head and gotten lost in there for a few weeks. It would explain her recent migraines.
  29. A cigarette.
  30. A pack of cigarettes! Hell yeah!
  31. Blood and blood and meat and blood and viscera and chunks and bits.
  32. A calculator.
  33. The Twin Towers, perfectly intact and preserved as they were on September 10, with all the people still alive inside. It will be a miracle; Alice, a hero.
  34. A series of twisty passages, all alike.
  35. A series of twisty passages, all different.
  36. A fluorescent yellow dragon that kind of looks like a duck.
  37. Sand.
  38. The fourth dimension.
  39. A PlayStation 4 with a copy of Bloodborne.
  40. Ants.
  41. A single ant, which has been piloting her body the whole time. It would explain everything!
  42. A swimming pool.
  43. Some Sort Of Weird Lemon Thing With Stupid Legs?
  44. A bible written in a language that has never been recorded before.
  45. DOOM (1993) on original floppy disk. At this point, it will be discovered that her face has contained a floppy disk reader the entire time, and that her entire sentience was merely running a copy of DOOM by id Software. She will drop dead unceremoniously, at least until someone puts the game back in her face.
  46. A nicer version of Joseph, who will give her a big hug and say that he is so sorry for being so mean to her all the time, and then he will give her 500,000 dollars and his car.
  47. Herself as a baby.
  48. Her family, well-adjusted and sane, in a world where her mother had never given birth to her.
  49. A preserved human jaw where all the teeth have been meticulously replaced with malformed wisdom teeth.
  50. Five dollars.

“Wow, I could make a lot of money off of my face,” she said out loud.

Joseph did not break eye contact with the road, but did make an unreadable face that she could just tell was disapproving. “What?”