Short stories


We were silly sulky slumberlant and full of dreams, incredible dreams, long and lazy dreams, labyrinthine dreams, Egyptiantine yellow, Greektine white, Romantine purple, Byzantine red, unlimned dreams, ineffable, sweet lolling limbs dreams, dreams like fronds lazily lingering tapping water flowing gently, azure, lapis lazuli, we had tried to construct a rainbow, but our endeavor had been futile, we had broken the spell, we had thought too long, too hard, we were unaware that all we needed was sunlight and water, spraying water, cascading water, we thought that rainbows were as intricate as the kaleidoscope, the kaleidoscope for us was magical, it contained God on earth, as the altered light seeping through the stainglass window of the cathedral contains God, we could have opened the curtains, we could have allowed the sun entrance, we could played with water, we slouched, dissolved, our lids heavy, the rims touching, limp, six legs crossed intricately as intricate interwoven as any Insular Illumination, loose legs uncoiling slowly, arms drooping boughs weighed heavily with ripen fruit readying to ejaculate sepia seeds, yawning, stretching, scratching, limp, sleepy, uncoiling.  Eliot and Viv said that we should leave the dark room and play outside but I said no and that I had a better idea, Viv said she did not want to kiss me, I said she could not kiss her brother that sisters kissing brothers was against God and if God saw Viv and Eliot kissing God would infest Viv and Eliot with a coruscating disease – it had to be coruscating so that all the people could see the disease as the mark on Abel had to be on his forehead and neon. Viv agreed to me kissing her, I held her tightly and kissed her. Eliot counted. By the time he got to a hundred, Viv was limp in my arms, I released her and she fell to the floor, on the floor, her dress covered her face and showed Eliot and me her pink cotton panties, We touched and Viv stayed silent and still we touched, warm, moist, soft.   

Eliot, Viv, and I climbed under their father’s bed, it was a big bed, their father was a follower of Spinoza and so cried for all the crimes committed against man and woman, some days he cried for Adam and Eve because they were cast out of Eden, he cried for those drowned in the great flood, he wept for the Moslems that were put to death by the Crusaders, he wept for the boys in the First World War, he wept for the Jews on their way to the gas chamber, he wept over the atom bomb. On the wall was The Triumph of Death. “Bruegel is the master when it comes to the physiognomy in pain,” said Eliot. We could hear their father weeping softly his crying reminded me of the rain patting the window. “Just another massacre,” I said. I was bored of hide and seek, we should have been playing hide and seek we said we would play hide and seek, I turned to Viv, I should have been hiding, I felt very silly, and so I didn’t say anything to Eliot and Viv. I almost cheered. I had had a thought. I whispered to Viv and Viv whispered to Eliot and Eliot looked at me and nodded his head. We stole from the work shed, from the kitchen, from the basement; we went through the house collecting the stuff we needed. Eliot carried a huge bag and we filled the bag and Eliot never complained, Viv used her mother’s washing basket, in it we placed the intricate stuff we needed, because I was good with a pen and could write neatly I kept records, I was methodical and wrote everything we did down. We went into the dark room and worked and constructed, we hammered nails and bent metal, we saw through wood and hacked through sheets of tin and metal and copper, when something did not work, we started again, we were full of ideas, and some of the ideas were magnificent and I wrote down the ideas and we stopped working and I read out loud the ideas they were very good ideas. Viv was so happy she kissed me and I kissed her and we kissed Eliot and Eliot kissed Viv and me.

We stood before the Kaleidoscope, so proud, so joyous. Eliot ordered us to stand guard and he left the dark room. Viv placed my hand down her pink cotton panties; my fingers crawled through the turf and entered her lips, I wiggled my fingers and Viv moaned softly, the warm, viscous juice from her hole trickled through the rill spacing my knuckles. Eliot returned with a cat. I removed my fingers and helped Eliot push the cat into the chamber. Once the cat was in the Kaleidoscope, Viv turned the handle, the cat mewled as cats mewl under the window when the moon is pavonine and no long abash over the pockmarks. The cat went through the Kaleidoscope, and somewhere in the middle of the Kaleidoscope, the cat stopped screaming. We went round to the other side of the Kaleidoscope and watched as beautiful portions of the cat fell from the conveyor belt. The pieces looked so nice and so pretty, and we said if the pieces had been from a cow or a pig we could have sold the pieces at the market. “I think we should tell mother,” said Eliot. “I think we need to see if we can place something bigger than a cat in Kaleidoscope before we should tell your mother,” I said. Eliot and Viv nodded their heads. I slipped my hand down Viv’s pink cotton panties; she turned angrily and stared me down. My hand traveled through the rut that separated her behind. My fingers found the hole and I wiggled my fingers. Viv moaned softly. “I think Viv would work perfectly,” said Eliot. He grabbed Viv and pushed her towards the Kaleidoscope. Viv was silent. Eliot pointed to the handle and I started to turn the handle. I could hear the razors, the knives, the hammers, the saws, the machetes, the scythes working; I could hear the hacking, sawing, cutting, slicing, curving. “You need to go faster,” said Eliot. I worked myself into a glistening sweat. Viv started to appear. Little pieces of Viv fell off the conveyor belt. From the apertures on both sides of the Kaleidoscope, matted hair and crushed bone and pulped muscle and intestines and brain in thick liquid oozed.

(appeared in Chaffey Review)

Paul Kavanagh

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