[...] something to be said quietly, not copied from the internet [murmurs], about a particular slab of meat- unoriginal in highs and lows, protein pools forming at the back of glacial lenses. Value found more with peppermint than feeling, therein lay [...] same determination as witnessed in pit of despair experiments, hands clutching at the hairiest parts [tentative laughter], in order to shift the faeces [laughter, applause].

Trapped between revelry and practicality, the most mentionable feature [...] paleness, quietly interrupted by capillaries riddled [...] a prescribed hatred, and unforgiving humour [...] typing errors and mass [coughing] disappearances. And in this sleep of death, for what are we if not recycled ideas [murmurs], came an explosion of red from the inside casing, causing [laughter] mess and hallucinated depictions of childhood rabbits, in pieces [raucous].

Talents mainly included the rites of alienation and sleeping for the purposes of avoiding ritualistic conversation about nails and hair- ironically the more lasting of the bodily displays during the open-air stage of the grave [murmurs]. Wealth was accumulated and creatures slain via network cables [laughter] routed directly to the lungs- currently 39 days wasted in all, more [...] consider the hair and nails. And you do [laughter] consider the hair and nails.

[...] parcels of headless cats more welcome than flowers for eliciting a response of fashionable emotion and straight hidden lines in scalps [exclamation: scalps!] set to rapturous applause, covered by hair [:hair! laughter]- but [pause] oddly allied to aggression and [...], self-implosion warranted the clearing of search history for an [...] aggressor spending lunchtimes reading articles on ancient literature and [quieter] monkey torture.

We turn our attention now to the flames.


My work colleague dropped me off outside the dentist. ‘Are you sure you don’t want me to wait?’

‘No, that’s okay, I don’t know how long I’ll be. Will you be able to find your way back?’

‘Yeah, should be fine. See you tomorrow!’

I fumbled at the door lock and stepped out of the car in the only way I could. Ungraciously. ‘Bye!’


‘Bye!’ Dammit.

I pulled my phone from my bag as the car drove into the distance. I called my Grandad to ask if he was in- he was- as I was in the area, hadn’t seen my grandparents in a while, and was eager for caffeine. I would call in on the way back from the dentists where I intended to postpone next week’s appointment for another six months, as that amount of time was never likely to happen.

The receptionist was on the phone as I stood ineptly at her desk. She avoided my gaze which gave me ample opportunity to see the coffee stain on her desk, and the button she had missed on her beige cardigan. Coffee and beige do not go well together, yet somehow she had retained her classiness (albeit with missing button) and had not spilled brown liquid all over herself, as I would have done. She had blonde hair and large bosoms, purposely barely retained under her white blouse. She was beautiful, but ultimately flaccid. I hated her. The television above her head showed a video on the correct way to floss, and made me feel nauseous. A child in the waiting room behind me grabbed his mother’s purse and flung the contents all over the floor. It contained nothing of interest.

I collected a tiny toothpaste tube from the barrel in front of me while the receptionist waggled her pen between her fingers, and pushed it into my pocket. I also took the accompanying leaflet so no-one could accuse me of just being in it for the free toothpaste the whole time. I didn’t even really want any free toothpaste, I simply needed something to do with my hands.

The woman hung up the phone, and after inanely typing for a few moments, turned to me and asked if she could help. I cleared my throat. There would be no excuses this time, I would just tell her straight. Damn straight. I would not tell her that I had another appointment for toenail removal at the exact same date and time (again), or that I couldn’t get the time off work, or that I didn’t have any teeth left for them to butcher, anyway. I just wanted to postpone my appointment and she was going to let me do it, because I had actually bothered to come in this time. And how long for? Six months. Certainly, and what is my name?

I told her my name and that was that. It seemed much too easy. She took her time writing my appointment details, and I caught sight of a string of saliva falling from the mouth of the man who was being forcibly flossed on the television. Gross. The receptionist passed me my card. I thanked her and fumbled at the zip of my messenger bag, the bright lights of the waiting room having caused my scarf to become quite unnecessary. The kid behind me had started to slide around on his buttocks, like a dog with worms. Then all of a sudden a noise enveloped my attention.

‘Did you used to dance for Astrid Lafelle?’ Continue reading


Voyager reached the edges of the solar system and I ran my duster along the edges of the skirting board. I asked you if you would mind if I killed myself and you said you’d understand, but it didn’t quite answer the question. I wondered what the highlight of tomorrow would be, and to the whooping delight of the cleaning staff, found it to be the intoxicating scent of the marker pens. I felt like you wanted a reason, but I wasn’t sure there was one. Things just were. Unchanged. Unchangeable. The pens smelled so much almost like liquorice that I could have drawn rapidly, ceaselessly, on my tongue.

You should talk to someone about it. I lay in bed, mostly paralysed, with your hand on my arm, too delicate and clammy to be real. I felt a single tear slip from my eye, navigating between the fine hairs on my cheek, before it came to rest in the creases of my mouth. I felt the salt harden before I had strength to taste it on my tongue. I couldn’t contact the authorities, there was something too cliché about lying in the dark, crying. It was 05:00 AM before I recognised sleep would not take hold again. Continue reading