I have a brother who isn’t a boy at all, but a fish.
When I tell people this, most of them chuckle politely, their bustling minds already flicking past the youthful imaginings of the charming little boy. That is, until they’ve seen him with their own eyes. My brother with his transparent fins and gills cut into the side of his neck and of course- the sea of shimmering scales that secretly hold all the colours of the world.
And the name of the star is called Wormwood…
Pus star Wormwood glowered ceaselessly in the cigarette sky. Although it was only midday, Wormwood pulled long shadows from the sour crabapple trees, whose fruit not even the crows will eat. Embittered little trees, Scotch broom, feral blackberries and scrub grass are all that grow in the brief ridges and ravines and knolls that serve as the community “backyard” throughout the valley. During wildfire season the broom pods burst and the smoky wind disperses their dusty spore. During wildfire season it’s easy to believe in hell.
It was official. Martin McClintock was scheduled for recall. Recall was his name for it. He’d also heard revoke, the big take back, shit outta luck (that was the sinners’ special), and the Rapture. That was a favorite of the bible thumpers. Whatever it was called didn’t matter though. His number was up and he knew it as soon as he opened his mailbox. Continue reading
Ultimatums arise, spread wings and words selected by energies:
Listen; The mercury is resolved. Beneath my hand Earth passes
a quick shadow, recollects the distinction of breath. New feathers
find warm wing to grow from. Cup and juice, Earth and seed, are
one. The secret is the grip. By the finger nails if need be. Mostly
by one corner of the mind, an edge where roots strike, curl like a
rattler. Sometimes the heart’s enough.
During the summer holidays when I was twelve my neighbour shot his three sons. I was at home with my brother when it happened. We were experimenting with a magnifying glass, colouring strips of card with different pigments to see which would burn first under the focussed triangle of sunlight. I remember the sound of the gun was a huge and deep boom. I could feel the concussive force even through the walls of our house. I heard a shot, a scream, two more shots, and then silence. Three shells fired from a breech loaded shotgun, each containing nine double aught spherical pellets, their destructive force expressed onto the children next door. The boys used to play in the yard. I would see them almost every day. They were all younger than me, twins and an elder, one at school. My mother would look after them from time to time when theirs wasn’t well. I tried to teach them how to play cricket.
The first Pango babies were born six years ago. It started in Southeast Asia so, naturally, no one in the West believed it. The odd morning show’s chuckling hosts would read reports of Cambodian women giving birth to strange creatures and they’d laugh it off. Then a Pango was born in San Francisco.