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Short stories

HIDE & SEEK

Time means nothing to a child. When I play I go missing for years. This is only the second time I have played. I have not surrendered yet and I have not been found. I am still hiding under the table. When I write years I am guessing for time means nothing to a child. All I know is that I now have a beard and Benny my dog is no longer a dog. Benny went away bit by bit. Little pieces of Benny vanished over time time means nothing to a child. He was like the cookie that you pick at. With each nibble compunction taps you on the back and points to the excessive fat around your waist. I have decubitus upon my bottom. Decubitus is fun to write, but painful to sit upon. I play with Benny’s bones for entertainment, sometimes I arrange his bones to look like a man walking. A silly walking man with a funny hat. The funny hat is Benny’s skull. Other times Benny’s skull is a big ship. A big ship on a long odyssey but time means nothing to a child. I use Benny’s tail for the sea. It undulates. My father’s feet were once the feet of Polyphemos. My father’s feet no longer poke me in the back. For a long time my father’s feet poked me in the back. My father had very large feet. His father had very small feet. His father had very small feet. His father had very small feet. His father had very small feet. His father had very small feet. His father had very small feet. All the feet smelt of shit. My feet are neither big nor small but still smell of shit. My feet were bigger than Benny’s paws. It is only now that I wonder where my father’s feet are time means nothing to a child. I do not miss them. They caused a lot of pain. I miss them but I don’t miss the pain. Pain is an awful thing. My mother has beautiful feet. Sometimes I get the urge to stroke them. My mother’s feet hardly peek through the tablecloth. When her nails are painted my heart swoons. The absence of my mother’s smile has left a lacuna that is painful. Pain is an awful thing. Pain is black and odorless. A thing without odor is without essence.  The table contains a myriad of odors. Benny’s bones reek. It is a reek I have grown to love a love tantamount to the love I had for Benny and now have for his bones. Sometimes I can still hear Benny barking. It is when I knock his bones together. The noise drives away the pain. Pain is an awful thing. My legs are filled with pain. I hardly move my legs. My toes are black. They look like black olives. Well, I think they look like black olives for I have forgotten what black olives look like. I used to like black olives I think. Pain is an awful thing. Pain is black and odorless.  The pain in my belly is more painful than the pain in my legs. The pain in my belly is like the pain Polyphemos must have felt would Odysseus poked out his one eye with that stick. The pain in my legs is a throb like heart ache like the heart ache I feel when I hear my mother crying about my absence. My mother’s crying is loud and goes on for days and days I think for time means nothing to a child. Sometimes I drum using Benny’s skull and bones to drown out her weeping. I have become quite the drummer.

A.K. Kevinour

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