CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
“Don’t you point at me.”
“My eyes are the wrong shape, are they? Well look at your ridiculous tits; they’re as fat as the rest of you.”
Some men like big tits.”
“Yes, that’s just what you think, isn’t it?—you hussy. People like you make me sick.”
Helen could take no more of this and moved forward to slap Mandy but Mandy stepped back and went to poke Helen in the eye but Helen managed to turn away and then went to push Mandy over but Mandy had already stepped aside and Helen fell forward, making a deep thudding sound as she hit the pavement, much as an adult walrus might if thrown from the back of a lorry by six burly men. Mandy decided to flee the scene while she was ahead and quickly turned away but in so doing, twisted her right ankle and fell off her stiletto. The force of her fall broke off the stiletto’s heel, which she bent to pick up as she made her escape. But before leaving the scene, she glanced down at the scarlet walrus and shouted at her, “I’ve won!” then limped on along the pavement.
Mandy tried a range of techniques to hide her limp and, while her mind was busy elsewhere, she finally settled on the technique of walking with her left leg bent, so as to reduce its length to that of her shoeless right leg, which meant her limp was neutralized and, to the casual observer, she may have appeared normal. However, this method had the unfortunate side effect of forcing her back into an unnatural arch which, after only a few steps, caused it to ache. But she persevered, almost unconscious of the increasing pain, since she was a woman and was used to making such sacrifices for the sake of appearance. Which brings us to that busy activity in her mind:
How could she go back to work with no shoes? What would people think of her? And, more importantly, what would Paul think of her?—Paul who had been her only source of joy for the past ten years, which joy was kindled by the mere sight of his smile, the sound of his voice, the nearness of his body as he stood beside her desk, critiquing her work, which situations she contrived specially or the purpose. On other occasions, her heart was warmed by the mere thought of him as she worked late and—the office being deserted—sat in Paul’s empty chair, which she accepted was probably the highest degree of intimacy she would ever achieve with him, to be bathed in some invisible essence of him that perhaps only she could detect.
She walked along the pavement, her left leg bent more than her right, wondering how on earth she was going to make her reappearance in the office. She held that broken-off heel in her right hand and recalled Paul’s words from a few weeks before.
“She has sexy shoes,” he said, referring to Susan’s stilettos, the new girl in the office, and when hearing that, Mandy reached for the edge of her desk to steady herself—certain that a mild earthquake had shaken the office. Perhaps it was at that moment that she became some sort of walking, talking zombie to whom the usual rules of humanity no longer applied—for, due to her loss, she no longer felt accountable to anyone or anything.
In Niggling Grievance Street, the rush hour had passed and the street was again almost deserted.
Peter Softly pulled up and parked beside Number 52. He checked Lily Smithe’s address with her letter, then shoved the letter back into his jacket pocket and got out of the car. He took a bundle from the car’s boot, and was about to close the boot when he looked up and, in the distance, noticed a man and dog walking along the pavement towards him. He recalled the man he met earlier, saying, “I’m sure you can spare half a minute—” and then watching him accusingly. As Peter recalled this, it seemed the man was trying to manipulate him; he was trying to make him feel guilty by suggesting it was a fault in him that he could not spare half a minute, and the man was doing this to manipulate Peter into doing what he had wanted him to. But Peter saw it was the man who was at fault, for trying to impose his will on him.
He recalled the man then saying, “You’re just the sort of person who causes all the problems,” and Peter wanted to shout, “It’s you who causes the problems; you do.”
Looking at the dog‑walker along the pavement, Peter sensed one of those monsters in his head also, and the monster was walking the man towards Peter, to enable the man to verbally abuse him.
Peter quickly closed the boot, sat on the back seat of the car and unwrapped the bundle, which was a woman’s overcoat wrapped round a wickerwork shopping basket. He rolled up his trouser legs, took a woman’s blonde wig from the basket, put this on and struggled into the overcoat. He checked his hatchet was in the basket, then quickly made his way to the front door of Number 52.
He pressed the bell push with his trembling hand, then looked along the street. The dog‑walker had now reached Number 52. His dog stopped beside the garden wall and the man stood there, looking down at it and whistling, as he did in Misconception Boulevard. The dog began kindly washing Lily’s garden wall for her.
Peter again recalled that other man saying, “You’re just the sort of person who causes all the problems,” then recalled him saying, “I’m a perfectly polite person who’s just trying to help you,” and at another point, saying, “You can’t understand simple questions. Are you stupid—?” and then nodding his head to indicate Peter should answer “Yes”. Peter then called him, “Scum,” and the man said, “There’s no need to be like that.”

 

Fiction and nonfiction by Fletcher Kovich and also classic writers.

NEW WORKS

Chinese Acupuncture for Today

Chinese Acupuncture for Today

The first truly accessible account of how acupuncture works.

A new book by Fletcher Kovich. Read more>> 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine
Nonfiction. Articles and Essays on various aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, mainly focusing on acupuncture. Read more>> 

Trout with Celery Stuffing

Trout with Celery Stuffing
Short story. I attempt to eat a simple meal in a restaurant but find myself getting deeper and deeper into trouble and unable to negotiate my escape. Read more>>

A Martial Artist Meets his Match

A Martial Artist Meets his Match
Short story. Jack Hutton was a martial arts champion. But nothing in his training had prepared him for his life’s ultimate challenge, which began the day Maryanne moved in with him. Read more>>

The Armchair Ballet Dancer

The Armchair Ballet Dancer
Short story. To the outside world, Benjamin Clark seems unusually happy, but this only masks his inner turmoil as he struggles to live with the consequences of a single reckless decision he made at the age of eighteen. Read more>>

A Substitute Passion

A Substitute Passion
Short story. Many Truman is accident prone when wearing stiletto heels. She decides to wear them one more time and finds this unleashes from within her a shocking passion. Read more>>

Irresistible Temptation

Irresistible Temptation
Short story. An old man offers me some simple advice which I ignore and this begins the adventure of my life. Read more>>

Daniel and the Wine Stain

Daniel and the Wine Stain
Short story. In one way or another, we are all disabled. Daniel’s disabilities are not immediately obvious, yet when he is forced to face them, he becomes overwhelmed. Read more>>

The Tragedy of Perception

The Tragedy of Perception
In a town called Perception, it seems no-one can understand the behaviour and comments of the people around them. Imaginary “monsters” are seen everywhere, which drives the whole town into a frenzy of defensive hostility.
The Tragedy of Perception is an eye-wateringly funny, allegorical novel about our inability to understand other people. Read more>>

Choosing the Right Drinks

Choosing the Right Drinks
Short story. How do we choose to spend our life? And is our chosen path of any value? Joseph is dying and is troubled by the choices he made in life. Clemency, his nurse, has no answers for him but his turmoil causes her to re-evaluate her own life. Read more>>

The Price to Pay

The Price to Pay
Short story. In a moment of recklessness I begin overspending which soon attracts the attention of a shady character who watches over me. I then discover the shocking price I must pay. Read more>>

The Wimpering Beach

The Whimpering Beach
Short story. In a tropical paradise, the boundaries are blurred between love and terrorism—but then perhaps those boundaries are blurred everywhere. Read more>>

The Beckoning Precipice

The Beckoning Precipice
Short story. A doctor, who is racked by guilt, is contemplating suicide, but are his misdeeds imaginary? Read more>>

Shorter works

Shorter works
Short pieces of fiction, poems, prose poems, nonsense poems, or other short pieces of writing that don't seem to fit anywhere else. Read more>>

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Sketchbook
Nonfiction. My notes on the writing of fiction, on Chinese Medicine phenomena, on travel, people, dreams, and other topics. Read more>>