13 False Memories, Recounted in a Celebrity Taxidermist’s Autobiography

1. Baa baa black sheep. Behind her eye is some sort of mechanism. If you look too close, it contracts to a pinpoint.

2. All sale items now 90% off. Hands fumble over jumbled junk. Parched eyes forget there’s a horizon.

3. First there was one man on his own, then there was a woman too, then there was shame. He put his hand on her breast and she laughed.

4. We tried to keep abreast of developments by dirtying our fingers on the Financial Times. Filthy lucre made us stinking rich!

5. I found someone else’s fingers in my glove. They were wiry and hard. I planted them in the garden and they grew into arm trees.

6. To take up arms against a sea of troubles…

I was dazzled by the lights and forgot the rest of the line. My head throbbed and I fell.

7. He rested his head on her belly. He was only asleep for a few seconds. He dreamt that the Bird King was standing over him. When he woke up his left leg had withered.

8. And if you’re naughty something will come down the chimney and take you away!

Susan felt the pain returning to her left leg.

9. She put her ear to his leg. I’m telling you, she could hear the cockroaches scuttling around inside his hollow body.

10. It was a marble mausoleum, thick with shadows. Our ears strained for sounds in the velvety silence. Someone coughed and I jumped.

11. The creature’s ears were attached to its abdomen. Half a pound of tuppenny rice, half a pound of treacle. Shooting pains, blank looks.

12. You went in through the abdomen. Years lost in dark intestines. Eventually you found your way out of the labyrinth. Looking at a mirror, you saw the Minotaur staring back.

13. No good will come of this. Nothing lucky about 13. I don’t even know why I’m doing this, wrist-deep in the intestines of dead words.

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