Bowbard; a person destitute of spirit.
Posts tagged fiction
Bowbard; a person destitute of spirit.
Quadrageminus; the fortieth day of fever; the latest period an acute disease was supposed to be capable of reaching.
Audio Recordings from up on the Scratchy Scree (According to Vin the Vangloid-Who-Is-Blind-Not-Deaf)
File 3478-7 part (A)
“I heard a tale once, a good one, I reckon, back ‘afore I got the damp-lung workin’ long years in the Shaft.” Static rustling. A rattling, phlegmy throat clearing sound. “Now I heard this from that galoot Hundagrumin, and he says he got it from his sister’s friend’s brother’s wife, so the dee-tails may be done up a micro on the flippy-flip.
Athanor; a digesting furnace - an alchemical term.
They travelled by car down to the coast of Athanor where the old lighthouse still loomed off the crumbly peninsula like a crooked finger, poking dejectedly at the rusty clouds clotting the sky. Even when he was a kid the lighthouse had never once lit up. He often wondered why, but as he got older, questions like that had a way of evaporating in the slow way things often do as we age. We leave things that seemed so important at the time, casting them aside like discarded wrappers, or put-off tasks. “I’ll do it later,” we’ll often say. “When I have more time.”
Outside the air was thick with salt scented mist and the delicate, icy spray of waves breaking against the black rocks beside the highway. The guard rail scooped around the bend in the roadway off in the distance, twisted and bent with age and perhaps the occasional near-fatal accident.
They stood there for a long time, leaning against the side of his car, eyes fixed on the hazy point on the horizon where water met sky, silent as old memories. A few cars drove past behind them, passengers obscured behind shadowed glass, dim tail lights trailing red ribbons in the mist.
“Ever swam in that water?”
He turned, looking at her profile set against the dull, grey light, her reluctance to meet his eye anchoring her question as genuine curiosity. Her cheeks were slightly flushed behind the high collar of her coat. Her narrow shoulders were bunched up almost to her ears, hands thrust deep into her coat pockets.
“No,” he said at length. “I haven’t. I had every opportunity when I lived in the west-end for four years, going to school. I was about a ten minute walk from the Beaches. I always thought that I’d eventually do it, but it never happened.”
He didn’t think it was necessary to ask her if she had ever been in the water. She’d never been here before, and her silence seemed to shut the door on the subject.
After a few more minutes, they climbed back into his car and began driving further up the coast.
When they were well into the city, stopped at a red light, she suddenly said, “I’d like to.”
“Like to what?” he asked.
“Go swimming. In the ocean. When the weather gets warmer.”
He made a vaguely agreeable noise, glancing at the stoplight through the windshield.
“I’m serious,” she went on. “We’ll make a day of it. Maybe invite some friends or whatever.”
He smiled distantly.
The light turned green, and he reached over, squeezed her knee gently as he accelerated. “Sounds like a plan,” he said, but he knew deep down that the suggestion would be forgotten, discarded; something to do later when they had more time.
Exust; to burn.
I’ve reached the limit. There’s nothing left to give - nothing left to earn or gain. I stood at the threshold of the living room and dining room last night with all the lights off, staring into the flat gloom, picking out the vague furniture shapes from the residual images of my memory like the burned retinal halos from staring at light bulbs or the sun. There was no reason for this. I stood there for almost an hour, not moving. I thought about doorways, about how we pass through them without a thought, transitioning from one room to the other, and I thought about the emptiness, the exust of rooms, when no one is around to fill them.
When I finally went to bed, my wife asked me, “where were you, just now?”
I told her that I was just downstairs for a bit, checking something. This was a lie of course, because I really don’t think I was anywhere at all.
Gutterblood; one who’s ancestors have been in the same town or city for some generations.
“Listen. Please, just listen for a minute. I want you to consider something.” She leaned forward, her eyes round and fixed on his own, two points of pale blue intensity with a fervent and almost clamoring light behind them. She was at once a beautiful and terrible thing, withdrawn in her wasted, delicate features, treating her body as a kind of inconvenient skin that her mind dragged around behind it. Blind addiction saddled her with cumulative sufferance. He felt the heat of her from across the kitchen table, the hungry wafting of her seriousness.
Flitch; the side of an animal, salted and cured.
“Kind sir,” she said, her face hidden beneath the blue shade of her parasol. ”It would please me greatly if you could buy me a lolly.”
The astute gentleman with the red glass monocle huffed a great snuff from his snuffbox, then with a flitch of his tawdry wrist, twisted his waxen mustache between his gentrified fingers.
“Your ladyship, I would love nothing more than to purchase for you, a lolly of the utmost salubrious and sticky quality. Alas, I have pinched my last penny on the tobacconist by the ferrydocks.”
Oh, how she wept! Great tears falling upon her multicoloured petticoats.
Excerpt from Gentleman Top-hat Who Would a Wooing Go
Ruttier; an old traveler acquainted with roads.
A wonderful moment:
She stands at the kitchen counter, washing the antique ruttier her aunt brought back from Istanbul several years ago.
He walks in through the mudroom doorway, shaking off his grey, woolen overcoat.
“Hello,” he says, brushing past her.
A few moments pass. She senses him behind her, smiles as his arms thread through hers, encircling her narrow waist. He smells like woodsmoke and pipe tobacco.
“Did you drop the letter off at the post?” she asks without turning.
“Yes.”His voice rumbles against her spine.
She stops working and lets him hug her. Light fades from the kitchen window by degrees. Water drips from the tap.
“I love you,” he says.
She places her hand delicately on his forearm.
“I know,” she replies.
Aporrhipsis; an insane dislike to clothes.
I don’t really know about these things sometimes. I can’t really account for when all those children with the big, wobbly, purple heads start loping up the street like a collection of swollen kidneys tumbling down a steep incline. It’s not healthy. It’s bad for the skin.
My neighbour accused me of stealing his perennials, bursting out of his front door in a great white froth of calcium bicarbonate. I don’t have a use for things that grow but can’t speak or wear corduroy.
“You take my rhubarb?” My neighbour asked, stabbing me with his licorice root eyes.
“No, I did not take your rhubarb.” I replied. Across the street, a pair of ring tailed lemurs were arguing with a surly frock wearing opossum. Their voices cut across the air explosively.
“You aren’t marsupials!” shrieked the opossum, brandishing a thick cane made from calcified orange peel. “You’re fucking strepsirrhine primates!”
One of the lemurs was pointing fervently at his lemur companion’s abdomen. “Look at the pouch! Look at the pouch! Look at it!” Then the opossum lost his already frayed composure and started to club the lemur with his orange peel cane.
“Apartheid!” Screamed the stricken lemur. “Apartheid!”
My street is usually very quiet. We don’t get this kind of action. Must have been the high concentration of organophosphate pesticide that Old Rubin McGrubin poured into the water supply last month causing an outbreak of aporrhipsis.
I don’t really know about these things sometimes.
Granch; to grind the teeth.
Pilgarlic; one who peels garlic for others to eat, metaphorically one who is made to endure hardships while others are enjoying themselves at his expense.