There was always a queue to get in, too many drinks in an easy pub before hand and you were in trouble. You had twenty stairs to practise your date of birth. Even at the bottom of them you could hear ‘You Spin Me Right Round.’
In the kitchen of a cottage nestled among oak trees they waited – for neighbour, for colleague; for broken doors and strangers with zip-lock bags. Jay was long gone, whipping across fields, toward the blockhouse he’d carved with nails and fire. He crawled into peace and wished he could stay, wished he could curl up on the soft, wet earth and sleep. But if he did they would find him, find him without looking and he wasn’t ready for that medicine, for any medicine – just now his liberty was a sickness he refused to cure. He dug up his plane ticket, kicked things quiet and headed toward the airport.
“Hello cat! Balancing your arse on the window sill again. You need to lose weight…Pot and kettle…I know!!”
What are you chirping at? Ah, I see, the birds, how ironic!” Someone should have heard that, it was mildly amusing.
“You don’t need to puff up you idiot, I see him. What do you think? Breakdown or directions?”
The human body is undoubtedly the greatest work of art in the entire universe. This is my sincere conviction as I silently spring, hop and even moonwalk. Swirling with grace through the city street, I place the human form on nude display while keeping my mind expertly focused, eyes calm and and dispassionate.
Santa was back on form this year. He clearly read the message I left him, very carefully unlike last year when some incompetent stand-in or faux Mr. Claus totally f***** up.
Dear Santa I wrote — as you do — I would be most grateful if you could kindly arrange it that your elves assist you in the delivery of a number of…
Now conjure up a long list of ‘literary books’ by the likes of Orwell, Dostoevsky and other suitably heavyweight names including Albert Camus.
NB: To avoid severe embarrassment as once suffered by yours truly, please note that Mr. Camus was born in Algeria (then French Algeria) and his name is pronounced, not unsurprisingly for the French, Al-Bear Ca-Moo.
Not Al-But Ca-Mus.
Any road, as we say round these parts, you can imagine the puzzlement, nay sinking feeling that besieged me, when unwrapping many book-shaped packages I came across The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and did not subsequently discover The Outsider by said Algerian.
YA fiction is not, as you would no doubt hazard a guess, top of my must-read genre list, but to be fair to S.E.Hinton I read The Outsiders (published 1967), which was written by her when she was still in junior high school, and it is indeed a fine book of its type.
Mrs. Pascal’s first rule, no sweets in the parlor.
My fingers dig into the folds of my gloomy clothes, clawing at the satin that piles under my fingertips. It does not do to indulge yourself in front of the grieving, Genevieve. Her voice scratches against the walls of my head. Not when there is work to be done.
Perhaps not, Mrs. Pascal, but to deny one their sweets in time of such pain does not do as well.
Living in a mouth is precisely what you’d think living in a mouth would be: wet, aromatic, and exhilarating. It’s cozy and rent-free in here. She’s not a big talker, so it stays as dark as Anchorage, Alaska during a typical winter. I sleep well. I bathe in her saliva. I nibble on specks of food that dangle from the roof like edible stalactites. When she’s wrecked and raging on a Friday night, getting blitzed on gas station wine, blaring Linda Ronstadt, we both stumble into el diablo’s embrace. When she peeks at the mirror while applying lipstick, or washing her face, I pop out and wave hello.
On our first date we went to a gallery of photos of sultry women from the 1960’s. You were hungover and thought the walls would collapse in on you. Afterwards we took a bus to my house where we kissed and seas of fish swam between our mouths.
I decided to check again. For the last time. No point keep on hoping the consignment would make it here before the twenty-second.
It wouldn’t. No choice but to proceed before it was too late.
A hologram whirred up and out of the console in a lazy fashion, like a half-cut genie who could not care less about being emancipated.
The soon-to-be-re-incarcerated figure intoned: ‘UPDATE: Next consignment due eighteenth of –’
I jabbed a finger at an ephemeral terminal button. Cut the genie’s damn circuits.
Ray had been listening in for some time now. It was fair to say that not much happened. He was paid regularly and managed to make ends meet, sure. Most of the time, that was all he cared about. The days were hardly springing by like joyous animals, but neither were they crawling in the vein of pained snails. Rent got paid, the cupboards got refilled and occasionally he treated himself to a trip to the local cinema. Work was work though, and he turned up daily at nine in his suit and tie, draping his jacket on the hook behind the door, sitting at his computer, and donning his pair of headphones. Continue reading “Listening In by Jon Green”