CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
I wanted to scream or raise my arms to stop her but I was paralyzed. Then the woman had gone and all I could hear was the sound of fabric being torn, which grew louder and multiplied; the shreds of sound poured down on me like rain, filling my head as a migraine does. Then the storm passed and I was naked and cold. I moved to another tree, this one barren and leafless. I began studying its skeleton of branches and twigs and thought I could see them transforming into a picture, a three-dimensional line drawing whose shape, as it took form, began to create a feeling of nausea within me. I watched its form and thought I could recognise its message, but the nausea took over and I had to get out of there. I felt sure the picture was of myself holding a child amid a harmonious family and glowing with happiness, contentment and health, but I could not watch if for long enough to be sure; I cold not stand the discomfort of its formation. I felt my body was about to begin the convulsive actions of vomiting and I had to go. I turned and heard traffic noise, then the sound of seagulls circling overhead and swooping by. I followed them and was then back in childhood.
I was playing on a beach. There were two, indistinct figures sat nearby on deckchairs. Neither of them had voices, it seemed, for they were occasionally making mumbled noises like the barking of beached seals. Their faces, though, I could see clearly. My mother’s and father’s eyes looked out helplessly from the faces of these forms. Occasionally they glanced at us, and less frequently at one another, but mainly they seemed harassed by the fear of falling back down into the formless bodies that surrounded them, as though those very bodies were their graves. Sat around me were my siblings, though again they seemed not to posses a voice. I could stand the silence no longer and ran off to play alone. I felt the sand beneath my feet, first cold, then warm as I ran out into a more sunny area. I slowed to a stroll and felt liberated; I could see no more pictures and as I looked about me, I found I was outside again in the blinding sun. I glanced back at that yellow and green poster and resolved to never again eat chocolate.
As I walked along the street, there was a dim image at the back of my mind, a picture glimpsed from somewhere inside that gallery. It began quickly fading in the dazzling sun until I could no longer see myself misshapen by the burden of indulging in illicit pleasures. And then the image had gone and my mind was clear. I strode on, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.
“Of course it is, of course. Sack the lot of them; that’s what I say; let Miss Volcano‑gob have a go!”
Primrose’s mouth hung open.
Thomas said, “She was gangbanged, you know.”
Primrose’s mouth closed. As the others looked on, she appeared to be standing on a boat whose sails had collapsed about her. In the next instant, they could almost visibly see her fumbling about on the deck, trying to re‑erect its defective sails. Sally and Francis looked on with their brows knitting frenziedly while Roland’s mouth—like the movement of a shark’s fin gliding eagerly through the water—slowly formed into an ever bigger smirk at the sight of her difficulty.
She got her boat’s sails back up again and resumed her attack, waving her weapon at Roland even more ferociously, “Five thousand names. They all agree, five thousand!—you’re all incompetent. So, just what are you doing about this?—five weeks, you’ve had—five weeks, and there’s still a mass murderer loose.”
Roland puffed up his plumage again, opened his mouth and was about to respond when Thomas said, “She was married to a mass murderer—or so they said.”
Primrose turned to Thomas and snapped, “What do you think you’re doing?”
Thomas snapped back at Primrose, “Her!”
Francis shouted, “What—?”
Thomas shouted, “Her! her!—who do you think I mean?”
Primrose shouted, “What—?”
Thomas said, as if to no‑one in particular, “—Doesn’t know what she’s saying; she’ll say anything—she’ll even say she fancies cripples—” he looked round at everyone, his facial expression instructing them about just how disgusting this was, “—cripples!—you can’t believe a thing. And she even thinks she’s a bat—ha! what did I tell you?—a bat!”


Fiction and nonfiction by Fletcher Kovich and also classic writers.


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