Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

The Comatose Kids

Comatose Kids
by Seymour Simckes

Price: $10.95


A 93-year old European Doktor kidnaps two hopeless cases from their hospitals and attempts to cure them by convincing them that they are long-lost lovers.

"An original feat of the imagination. It purifies through love for the human being."

—Bernard Malamud

"The book shines like something in the dark because Simckes is capable handling the most intimate human materials with extraordinary gentleness."

—John Hawkes

"Unique, wild, funny. It still haunts me."

—Clive Barnes, N.Y. Times

"Spooky, mystical, comic, a very good play, perhaps a great one."

—Dan Isaac, The New Leader

On his play, "The Ten Best Martyrs of the Year":

"A timeless profundity about it. The resonances are mythic. Extraordinarily strange, enlivened by all kinds of stylistic intrusions and an almost hysterical inventiveness."

—Michael Smith, Village Voice



Tschisch's patients felt like escaped zoo animals unable to separate any more their freedom from their captivity. Like pots boiling without water. Confused, breathless, exhausted, without kilter, their last speck of soul snapping, having no target to shoot at except themselves. The boy in his white multi-penciled hospital uniform and the girl in her flowing misshaped asylum gown, both ogled the common darkness as if they had never before seen such a thing. Meanwhile, a patient on each arm, Doktor Tschisch, surmounting all their worries, their pains, their panic, swayed softly in the safe middle, spanning a sea of crags and monsters.

The three of them looped together. Smothered in one green quilt blanket like participants at some ceremony of somnambulism. Their procession was measured in inches, each step an eternity - so as not to tilt their shaky consciousness. They were like slow-moving cats about to have sex. When saliva and horrendous gurgles ooze from heir mouths, they rub foreheads, scrutinizing one another's features, and give the impression that if humans studied each other that long for any reason they'd go blind.

Actually, half a block behind, trailing despite his own serious nausea, Tschisch's sick ocelot cat stuck to his job as witness, down curbs, through shrubbery, under parked vehicles, his tarnished eyes for lanterns leading him infallibly on, his purpose not yet knocked out of him though the night's sky lost its moon and all its stars.