Worms of disturbance


Uemori-san went through the door, out of her room. That would be the last time she would go out that way. Sure, she could use the window; but she had been developing strong feelings that there were other ways. Her shoulders rubbed against the smooth concrete curves of the narrow spiral staircase, as she went downwards. The greeting tune from the convenience store was calling her. Bing ban boom bam boon ban bondy bongy boo! Jagged-edged circles of wet were seeping into the dark blood-red, paving blockwork, on the ground. She skipped joyfully over them. Three feathers from a bird’s wing, held together, by a chunk of flesh and sinew, at the end, caught her attention. She stopped and stared at it, arms hanging flat by her sides.

She made a mental note to herself – Not. Quite. Right.

Oh! How pleasant to find a creature, so Shisa-like, sitting there upon that mailbox, glowing pink, picking something out from between its jagged fangs with its crystal-sharp claws. It noticed her skipping by, placed its paw delicately down onto the mailbox, smiled ever-so-slightly, and hopped-off, to follow her. She looked down at it, padding along at her heel. Its eyes were huge; giant green irises undulating, rippling, sparkling like a fluid emerald; whisps of gold swimming through their waters; glistening worms of disturbance.

Come! Come! – she sang, as she patted on her thigh – I shall call you Muburokku-chan! Will you come with me?

Muburokku-chan stopped, sat down, grinned, scratched its shell-like ear with its back paw, then nodded an almost imperceptible nod.

The Whizperman

Alain Boulgtain was excited. So excited he was, to the point of bouncing on the balls of his feet. He had seen him, and so urgently wanted to go, right now, and tell about it. It had been up in the western part of town; that ever so grotty district, in the bar where they had screwed all the furniture to the floor, that he first heard of the Whizperman. There had been all sorts of fabulous myths and tall tales. Alain had listened, and nodded in acknowledgement, and let it drift, lazily out of his consciousness. But! There! Just gone by, he had just seen him; his pristine loafers, made of woven paper, his un-patterned,  turquoise, silk shirt fluttering, as light as air, and the yellowed ends of his long beard grasped by a fat gold ring, encrusted with an enormous, glowing ruby, that all swung assuredly, in rhythm with his gait.

Last Gravy

Ruedibopbop had always regarded most other gravies as being like the surface of a hot, yet frozen, shallow lake; where you could go skating even in summer; all the while smothering the fine, comforting delicacies, lying just underneath. Mom’s gravy, on the other hand, could be as deep as an ocean canyon, and as complex as a family history. There was storytelling within it, subtleties of aromas and almost imperceptible specks of color, stimulating some deep-buried part of the brain, evoking everything in the whole world and, at the same time, one single place and instance of time: home; now.

Mom was making gravy. The soothing smell had seeped into every corner of the house, into the grain of the wood, binding with every molecule of air. She knew this would be his last time in the house; she had had a feeling about it.


Progress was slow leaving town; an on-rolling cortège floated along the exit road, playing a dirge; a fine celebration of the emotion called sadness. Crammed into an old, long three-wheeler; like the great polymath Jankonster Bullarton used to invent on a daily basis, in his attempts to save the automobile industry; their faces squashed-up against the tobacco-glass, reflections of the diseased trees, rolling along and wrapping down around the edges; flitting away. The pace was slow, moving at a blip above standing still. The horns were  gurgling and moaning, a tin cymbal ‘shishing’ and ‘ffffishing’ and ‘wissshing’; the band hanging-on, tiptoes on the running boards, playing one-handed; unpredictable changes of chord and key, sending your heart tumbling into the ground.

Ho! Ho! – Rarna thought – Oh! Yes! So nice.