Yossi Faybish - hobbies - prose
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    I pulled the red dress over my head, a bit tight around the breasts, leaving a barely visible mark where my nipples were trying to push through. Did I do it on purpose? I knew that the pressure and the friction will do that to me but what the hell, it was the third night on the town with my bunch of crazy girl friends and they behaved like a demented hoard of sex maniacs. If anything, then I was probably the quiet eye mid of the cyclone’s fury.

    I loved my friends, Anna, Miranda, Carol, and the two twins, what was their name?... I exploded in laughter then stopped immediately since my bust line seemed about to... bust. When they heard that my flirt with Mark was about to end with a ring on my finger they all but tore the garments off my body in screams and yelps of joy. I was a single mom, twin kids and two dogs and working hard for my living in a downtown pizzeria, and they gave up trying to pair me with someone. Not that I was too choosy, but one night stands were not my type of pairing and this was what most of the men seemed to be looking for. So after barely escaping being raped a few times I gave up any effort to find a serious mate. What the hell, I could satisfy myself better than any of those tit grabbers could. I pulled up the zipper in the back with subconscious fury, and immediately got myself under control.

    Mark was different. Soft, kind, bought me flowers to my birthday, to the twins’ birthday and even for the dogs’ birthdays brought home a pair of bones, one for each. Just making sure the dogs wouldn’t kill each other over the present. I smiled at the memory. He was always so polite... it was I who finally forced him into a hotel room and made love to him and I could swear he was forcing himself to enjoy it. God, the guy was almost a virgin. Three months later he proposed and I accepted immediately. Now this crazy bunch of female coyotes decided to drag my ass all over town looking for hot last sensations before the sacred matrimony... lol... four of them were married with kids and you could have easily forgotten the sacredness of matrimony when looking at them. In another world I would have called them whores. In this world they were my friends and trying to give me a good time. Meanwhile having a good time themselves.

    “After you’re married, snoring is the only sign of life your husband will give...” roared Miranda, and the others joined in. “Now is the time to live out your last dregs of passion,” she added. The marriage was one month away. They decided to hit bar after bar in town, leaving them empty of liquor and leaving the male population empty of other things. And this for five consecutive nights. But the third bar we hit that first night was where we spent the rest of it, and the second night, and now we were going there a third night in a row. It was a male strip bar, style Chippendales, a bit less glamour, a bit more hunk, some under the table dope, and body contact was largely overlooked. Carol went wild over a show guy, got him into her lap and kept stuffing dollars inside his pants letting her hand linger inside there longer than really necessary. The twins followed suit and the first night ended wild with three of us bare breasted and all the males fully in the nude. And very similar the second night. I kept wondering how these guys kept their hard-on for a full hour, it must have hurt like hell, whatever drug they were taking.

    I pulled a pair of white stockings getting up to half thigh, wishing myself to feel sexy, red high heel pumps, tied a white ribbon to my short pony tail that didn’t go with the rest of the outfit (however gave me a youngish look), blew myself a kiss in the mirror and went out.

    We were greeted with wolf calls and yells of appreciation from the “artists” decorating the various parts of the stage. I am sure it was not the looks but the greens in our pockets, but who the hell cared. We got to the reserved table just underneath the stage and found it set up already with glasses, and as we sat ourselves down a bunny dressed waiter uncorked two champagne bottles (champagne my foot, yeah... just the price was according to the name, times ten...), and smiled obligingly as Miranda smacked his ass and pushed a fiver inside his scanty loincloth. Our table got into its festive mood within seconds, and I played my part dutifully while watching him from the corner of my eye.

    Him, the lone character seated in a dark corner of the joint, completely out of place as he was the only male client to be seen, a half empty whisky bottle on his desk and from time to time scribbling something. I saw him the first night too, and the second night as well, same table, same posture, same partial disinterest in the proceedings. I think that his eyes fixed me as well for a moment longer than polite disinterest would dictate, probably my imagination and the second glass of alcohol warming my insides imposing their rules on my interpretation. Maybe he was the bar owner keeping tab on the waiters’ tips and writing them down for getting his share of loot? Or some gay guy in for a cheap treat? I chuckled to myself. Not at all a strip-bar owner by the looks - fiftyish, white t-shirt, sneakers to feet protruding from underneath the table... I wasn’t drunk but I felt daring. I got up leaving my devoted partying friends completely unaware of my desertion and approached his desk. Why do I do such a silly thing? I asked myself as I neared his table and placed my empty glass on it.



    I saw her approaching my table but I kept my eyes riveted to the notebook in front of me, scribbling away. It was the third night in a row that she and her bunch of accompanying chickens appeared in the bar, and they didn’t look any different from the tens of other hysterical females I saw spending their evenings here for a short escape from kids and dishes and reality. However while they didn’t look different, she did. She laughed and drank like all of them, however there was something artificial about her joy. She never grabbed for a male part of the body, she never tried to clamber up the stage, when her friends forced a waiter to sit in her lap her hands kept their hold to the glass instead of exploiting the moment... I didn’t pay much attention the first night. The second night I couldn’t refrain from throwing glances her way several times, hoping I looked as natural as it was my intention to look. And tonight, a few moments ago, I saw her getting up, picking up her drink and moving my way.


    I looked up and got hit. Emerald green glinting from underneath long eyelashes tried to burn my eyes out of their sockets and dark fiery red strands of hair seemed to have escaped that outrageously out of place white ribbon at the back of her head, while reflecting the flickers of the candle on my desk.

    “Hi,” I answered, holding her regard as she was trying to make up her mind about how to continue.

    “Are you gay?” she asked, looking undisturbed and swaying a bit from side to side.

    I let out a short laugh, and shook my head from side to side.

    “What is a nice guy like me doing in a place like this, is what you want to ask. Right?”

    “Right. And what is it that you continuously scribble in this notebook for three nights in a row now?” She pulled a chair at my side, sat down a bit heavily and crossed her left leg above her right letting the hem of her dress fall way up beyond the pale line of flesh outlining the end of her stockings. I didn’t think she did it on purpose, though for a moment I thought I wouldn’t have minded if she did.

    “I write stories.”

    She partly choked, partly exploded in a hysterical laughter, her glass spilling its contents partly on the floor, partly on my notebook. I cleaned the notebook carefully with my napkin and waited for her to finish. She kept it for a full five minutes before she succeeded to calm down sufficiently to say something.

    “Don’t tell me, it is children stories and this is just the right kind of background for them”, she smirked. Then she filled up her glass from my bottle, gulped it all in one go like a seasoned sailor and looked at me with an undefined expression in her eyes, anything between pain and hatred. “Or is it rather cheap porn stories sold to minors of age at school gates?” This rage, this fury in the consuming green sparkle decorating her face, and from a woman visiting this place of raw sin...

    “Actually I write love stories. And poems. And this place of soul’s lowest misery is the right kind of background, yes.” I was calm, I was fascinated by her reaction, I looked at her as the intensity of her regard melted into wet softness and the second glass she filled stopped on its way to her mouth. She looked straight into my eyes, unwavering, a transformation taking place in the sparkle, in the shine, her sneer leaving place to an expression of incredulity. She slowly turned the glass, letting its contents spill to the floor, laid it on the table, corked the bottle and I barely heard her murmuring.

    “Show me.”

    “Sorry, lady, I cannot, it is part of a collection and I have a contractual clause that does not allow me any...”

    “I will pay you.”

    Suddenly I felt uneasy. This dump was not a place for this woman. Neither was it a place for me but I was working here. She came just for the cheap fun. Or did she really? I had no idea who she was, what was driving her... and the intensity of this green regard was drilling through me like poisoned arrows.

    “Sorry, but...”

    She raised her hand, telling me to shut up. Then she got up, went to her table and returned with a small bag. She sat down by my side again, opened her bag and pulled out a one hundred dollar bill, laying it on my notebook.

    “Show me... What is your price?” There was something there in this regard, in this question that was ready to hear any price and ready to pay it unblinkingly. I took her hundred dollars bill, looked at it pensively, folded it lengthwise in two then took the candle and lighted its end, watching the flame consuming it completely. Then I dumped the carbonized paper into the ashtray. She watched me unblinking, picked up a second hundred dollar bill from her bag and laid it on my notebook.

    “What is your price?”

    It was my turn to look at her for a long time, my external calmness a misguiding camouflage to the terrible war raging inside my body and mind. I felt allured, on my way to be trapped by a complete stranger in a disgusting place for a reason unknown. She picked up another note from her bag and placed it on the first one.

    “At the age of twenty one I was raped. Love does not exist. People want animal satisfaction and they call it love. I too. People are beasts. Men and women. Love is a mirage in a desert called life.” I was hit a second time. A thin line was weaving itself between me and this alien creature, a line I did not want to see getting created, yet couldn’t deny its right to get born when it was demanding it with such tempest fury. Was I alone in the room to sense it, I and her? “What is your price?” she asked a third time. I had to answer, there was no way but to answer.

    “It is priceless,” I whispered. I halted a moment, uncertain if I did it on purpose or because I suddenly felt vulnerable. “For you, lady... it is free.” I was crazy, I know, I reacted in the most illogical way, who was this guy talking with my mouth? I closed my notebook, then opened her bag, dropped it in, and clicked it close again with my notebook inside. Then I got up and left.


    I was shaking when I opened the first page. I lay in bed, a thin nightie symbolically covering my body with nothing underneath, the small bedside lamp throwing a soft yellow glow on the paper as I started reading. I was alone at home, the twins were with my mom and only the dogs to keep me company, both snoring happily on the carpet. It was not the easiest handwriting to decipher, it took me some effort in the beginning. But once I got the hang of it and started hearing the words... oh, those words which once read started carving my flesh with such sharp tones, with such an abundant undercurrent of symbols, with so much eroticism of hinted yet not said, with such an unending flow of maddening love, real... God... I read the first story and I felt about to die, after a few poems I heard myself moaning, after half an hour I was a mess of lust, desire, I was screaming in my head to be taken, kidnapped to an imaginary world of romance and knights, and dragons, there to be raped, turned into an object of carnal love to be used to infinity till only leftovers be left to be discarded. My breasts were demanding, I touched my nipples then let my hand slide in between my legs, pulling the nightie hem up and letting my fingers seek inside the enveloping wetness for that one single touch that will throw my body in spasms of delectable nothingness of spirit.

    I lay panting, not satisfied with that one time, not satisfied after the third time, falling finally into a comatose sleep, my mind clearly living the nightmare of hearing my body scream for a due I could not offer and my soul for a softness I did not know does exist. It never happened to me before, my God, what is this instrument of torture you have thrown my way?

    I woke up next morning around 10 at the sound of scratches. My poor dogs were asking for their due too. I felt sore, exhausted. And strangely angry. I attacked the shower, having fallen asleep last night in the stickiness of my bodily fluids, maybe on purpose... I wondered for a moment. After jogging for one hour I showered again, pulled a knee length tee shirt over my head and sent him a mail. The hell with guys calling first, I found his mail address noted in the notebook and I sent him a mail. Simply saying ‘hi. I fucked you last night three times’. I knew he was not going to answer. He answered. ‘hi. I made love to you last night one time’.


    We met each of the following five evenings. I dumped my friends with a lame excuse that I was stressed because of the wedding arrangements and I preferred to be alone. Then drove out of town to a small coffee shop that he proposed, probably because it was mostly empty, and there spent the time till early morning just talking. He did not even try to touch me. Just talking about his writing, his poetry, his fruitless efforts to get published till finally he found an agent and now he was preparing his first book. A mix of poems and stories. About love. I returned his notebook on the first evening.

    “Were you not afraid that I would simply disappear and you would lose it? There is at least one year’s worth of work in there?”

    “I knew we would meet again.” Statement. As factual as it is now 7 pm. And I knew he did not take me or this first, or rather second?... encounter for granted. He said it because he knew it. Simple. I wished my life would have been as simple as that, just statements, black and white. Hate and love. I felt a jolt inside as the word love hit my mind. I used it so many times, in so many variations, yet always meaning lust, sex, pain, never meaning... love. I looked up at him, his half empty glass of beer bubbling its life away and my little glass of sweet cherry brandy untouched yet. Nothing striking in his appearance, in his built, in his posture. But his eyes held something to it, undefined, penetrating... I shuddered. He was talking about his life, little anecdotes, meaningless events. Never asking anything about me as if afraid I might get hurt somehow. Little by little I started putting in sentences myself, telling him snippets of my life, flashes, growing into long tales. I was never that open with anyone, not even with my most intimate of girl friends, yet here I found myself at times telling things I didn’t even tell myself. When we parted around midnight we shook hands. Not even a kiss on the cheek.

    “Why did your parents call you Norma Jean?” he asked, still hanging quite by chance to my hand.

    “Probably because they wanted to warn me off the glittering temptations of the world?” I watched him as he got into his car, a manual gears import type of undefined origin, and with an out of character sudden move shooting the gravel from underneath its rear tyres as it roared with a powerful leap forward. I found myself smiling. As deep as they come you may be, sir, but still a boy at heart.

    I started telling him about my childhood, my part of the conversation getting more and more dominant while he was listening attentively, here and there interjecting a small question or word, never breaking my flow. Not even on the shrink’s couch did I feel so relaxed, so sharing. I hovered around the few happy moments I remembered, the loads and loads of painful ones, the rape...

    He put his hand over mine, squeezing powerfully. I felt my hand locked in the grip of a steel vise.

    “You don’t have to, Norma Jean.” I looked at his hand, it was the first time he touched my hand in such intimate manner and the pain of the grip was lost in the pleasure of knowing it.

    “I don’t have to. But I will.” I went into the details, more than I told the police, the medics, the social counsellor. The blows, the tearing of clothes and underwear, the penetration, the searing pain. The endless nightmares. “I was a virgin when it happened. Funny, isn’t it? Waiting to give myself up to a beloved loving husband, whenever this would have happened to be.” I looked up at him, his eyes fixed on my face, not even blinking, his grip on my hand forgotten there on the table.

    “I would have shot the guy. One bullet through the brains.” His voice impassive. Dry.

    I kept looking at him. The benign intellectual, the dreamer, the teddy bear philosopher suddenly a weapon of unhinderable destruction, cold, ruthless... cold? Was this fire in back of those dark eyes just a reflection of the dim electrical light?

    “He is behind bars. And he is the father of my girls.”


    I pulled up my two seater MG to the front and stepped out. I didn’t bother to lock it. No thief I knew of could drive a stick shift car, and anyway I never filled her up with more than needed to get just to the next petrol station. And any car thief with higher education and more noble intentions would overcome any kind of lock anyway.

    She was seated at our table, the dark red cherry drink in front of her, the candle reflecting in the shine of her hair and in the row of pearls around her neck. I could not see her eyes as she was seated with her back to the entrance. I pulled the chair and sat down across from her, my glass of beer appearing out of nowhere at my side, and I waited for the flurry shape of the figure that brought it to disappear before opening my mouth. I felt terrible, my mind a mess, my reason crumbling under the weight of words to come that I had to say yet my mouth’s muscles refused to obey. I fixed my stare to her eyes, this indomitable green that could sink empires flooding me with its fleet of sparkling comets’ tails crossing over from their depths straight into my dark abysmal darkness of emotion.

    “Don’t fall in love with me, Norma Jean.” My right hand was trying to get hold of the glass but my shiver prevented it. I was afraid at seeing the rage, the tears, the impotent begging. I felt more than I saw her soft fingers lying over mine, interlacing with them, and then closing our palms into one single iron fist.

    “I know.” No rage, no tear, no begging. Just a simple I know. I don’t think I could see her face clearly as I sensed my own eyes clouding up and could neither prevent it nor wipe it away. She took hold of my second hand and did the same as with the first. I was prisoner in the hands of a woman that punctured my shield, ravaged my heart, and now was about to gulp my soul. “I know. I have seen the ring. You never removed it.”

    “Norma Jean, my dearest of friends I will ever have, the one I could never call my love. It is not the ring. It is the love I love a woman I am not married to. A woman that will never be mine, I will never touch, I will never call my own. The one that inspires my hand, keeps me alive and feeds me my dreams. It is a bottomless love and I can never give it up. I will never give it up. The woman that could have been you but is not.” It was coming, the flow, the words I was afraid to say, the link I was afraid to break because I was afraid to break this woman that conquered my imagination and became a sun in my universe in five single days of genesis. I let go of it all, the first contacts, the shy beginning, the ensuing flood, the frustration, despair... the resignation. “I can never love another woman, Norma Jean. I could never love you.”

    Her hands did not release their hold, she kept looking at me, oddly enough... smiling, though a slight tremor at the corners of her mouth betrayed other emotions, barely controlled by a steely net of pure, distilled will wires. Then she closed her eyes.

    “I knew it was over before it started. I just refused to ask the question. Now I will ask it. Is it over?” I nodded my head, afraid to talk even though her eyes were still closed. I knew she knew the answer without hearing it. She let go of my left hand and lay her right hand on the table, palm up. “Please give it to me.” I picked up the sheet of paper from my shirt’s pocket with two fingers and put it in her hand. She put it carefully in her shirt pocket, opening her eyes and never for a moment letting go of my right hand. “It is not over till I say so.”

    We drove to her apartment, her head leaning on my shoulder while the hot stuffy air blew her hair all over my face. The car top was open and the stars canopy made an eerie sight above the few dispersed clouds. Her eyes were closed, her breathing regular, intermittent glimpses of the white lace embracing her breasts flashingly blinding me at moments. I left the car in the street and we mounted silently the stairs. There we took the old creaking elevator to her third floor, she unlocked the door and turned to me.

    “The kids are not here. The dogs are in the kennel for tonight.” I looked at her questioningly. “You see, you are not the only poet around here. I may not write but I know. I knew tonight would be the last.”

    I bent and picked her up in my arms, pushed the door with my foot and carried her inside kicking the door shut with my heel. Her hands were clutched around my neck, her breath warm, cherry flavored. I wondered why, she did not even touch her drink this night. She pulled a bit my head towards her till her mouth was close to my ear and I hardly could hear her whispered words.

    “I never made love before. Never wanted to. It was always just my body answering the call. Tonight, I want you to call upon my soul too. Tonight I will be yours, completely. Take everything I have. Tonight I am a virgin, and I want to make love.”

    I lay her softly on the bed. She lay there, watching me get undressed, unmoving, expecting it to happen as she imagined thousands of times, never having lived it even once. Knowing it would happen exactly that way because she asked it of me. I went over to her, kneeled besides the bed and started undressing her, taking my time, making each move with the mathematical precision of a Swiss watch and with the softness of a Neapolitan serenade. Her shoes, one by one, slowly letting them fall to the floor then arranging them side be side... The hem of her skirt, pulling it up till the top end of her right stocking became visible, and then pulling the leg up while the stocking slid off into my hand, my eyes riveted to a wet spot growing on the piece of white, lace panties that became visible for a short moment... I didn’t rush, there was no time for sex, there was all the time for loving. I took the stocking, tied it to her left wrist and tied the other end to the bed pole... I could hear her moaning, something amounting almost to a soft scream escaping her mouth, words, senseless, were they?...

    “Hurt me…” I froze. “Please... hurt me... there will be no pain, I promise, just the joy of knowing I am alive. I want to know that I am alive, I want to know that this is not another dream turning nightmare with a knife cutting through my body...” the plea in her voice unbearable, commanding, begging... I turned her over pulled up the skirt, ripped off the thin lace of her panties and slapped her bare skin with all my force. Then again. Then I let my mouth kiss the red spots and travel around her bare buttocks, with my fingers testingly probing her wet depths. I turned her face up again, peeled off her other stocking and tied her other hand to the bed. She was at my mercy, just as she requested it, just as she wanted it, just as she told me to be her dream... I ripped open her shirt, her bra, kneading her body in hundreds of isolated island of pleasure, kissing her mouth till I knew we were both choking into unconsciousness, incessantly touching her responding intimacy until that final, one, blessed virginal cry so pleasant to a God’s ear wary of suffering, and war, and pain... She has been virgin, now I knew for sure, she has been a virgin in her soul and this night she allowed me to deliver her of her curse.

    I leaned over and kissed her shoulder. I opened my mouth but she put her finger over it, then pulled my neck down kissing me with the ferocity of a wild cat.

    “Now you go. And you don’t have to say anything. I know.”

    The door clicked shut behind me. I heard the elevator’s ancient motor whirring tiredly on its way up, and just before the door opened I heard the muffled sound of shower water almost drowning in its gurgle the soft sound of a singing voice.


    I dried myself with a big towel, put over me a thick bathrobe and sat on the bed. The scars of last night’s battle were visible throughout the room, on the bed, on my skin. I kept smiling from the moment I entered the shower to the moment I sat on the bed. I would have laughed but smiling seemed somehow a more powerful expression of what I was feeling. In three weeks time I was getting married, there was a new life ahead of me. Mark, I thought to myself, you have no idea what life of bliss awaits you by my side.

    I picked up my shirt and took the piece of crumpled paper out from the pocket. It was not printed but hand written, and only two words scrapped out. As if he wanted to finish it before regretting it. I smiled, flattened it on my knee and started reading it aloud. I knew I could have read it without seeing it. I knew what was written there word by word before it hit my tearing eye and reflected from there, further on, straight into my heart.

    Going am I,
    Don’t you cry.

    In the wake of parting May
    Whilst your dreams with flowers play
    Run wild memories astray.

    Down your secret depths of heart
    Hide my touches, hides my art,
    Does it hurt my sunken dart?

    Every sunrise, time you wake,
    Drops a tear into the lake
    Built of endless shapes of ache.

    Every sunset, time you dream,
    Drops a smile into the stream
    Flowing down your silent scream.

    Gone is May, and autumn’s deep
    Lulls your memories to sleep,
    Sweet’s the sorrow, and you weep.




    What would you like for Christmas?” I asked her.

    “A fairy,” she answered.

    “A fairy? A fairy does not exist. And if it does then it is not a pet. At most a pest.”

    Crystal laughter. Changing into silken breath. Changing into sand.

    “Sand? Why sand?” she asked frowning.

    “Sand? What sand?” I repeated, clearly puzzled.

    “You just said sand,” she insisted.

    “No, I did not.”

    “You did, you did...” and she started moving to the other end of the sofa. It was time for immediate courageous action.

    “Yes I did,” I admitted and she scurried hastily back to my side leaning her cheek on my shoulder. I watched her face, there was no sign of triumph there. Well, I thought it, might be that I said it, maybe.

    “Fairies are expensive,” I started again cautiously. “Why don’t we settle for a ring?”

    “A ring? What do you mean a ring?”

    “A ring, you know, a hole with some metal around it.”

    “Oh, this kind of ring.” I looked at her again, she was certainly not mocking me. “Then of silver.”

    “No, love, of gold, silver is reserved for vampire killing bullets, you know...”

    She laughed.

    “You are silly. Gold is rich. Silver is pure.” There, I had it. Female logic. Scientifically accurate. Mathematically precise. Like astrology.

    “I am pisces,” she said, jarring my mind like an eighteen wheeler on a potholed road.

    “Why do you say that?” I asked.

    “Because you said that you liked astrology. And it should have a text engraved on it,” she continued, subdued by her own logic. I felt a need to synchronize fast with reality, with her, something was escaping me here and I wasn’t sure what. I started to get up with a sudden urge for a stiff drink. “Wait, we didn’t finish our conversation.” That, at least, sounded plausible considering the circumstances and the holes her fingernails were digging into my arm.

    “Okay,” I resigned. My mouth felt terribly dry. She licked my lips cat fashion and returned to the nook on my shoulder. I didn’t even shiver.

    “There must be some text engraved on it, a lover’s text.”

    “Why? Says who?”

    “I’ve seen it on the internet. The words touch your skin and you become what they say.”

    “Oh, I see, the internet, the new encyclopaedia of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, minus the musty smells.” I exploded in laughter. She didn’t join me, pensively playing with some intimate parts of my body. I didn’t feel like interrupting, but my masculine superiority forced me to. “Advertising, pure propaganda, all communists there...” I kept laughing, content with my own wit. “You know, in order to soak into the skin the writing must be on the inside, not on the outside...” Oops... terrible mistake, she got it, and pushed me laughing wildly to my back, sat on my chest and locked her legs around my neck. Again one of those degrading position I did not mind being subjected to.

    “So you visited the site, you... you male...” making it sound like a curse and kissing me. “That’s true, must be on the inside and in inverse writing, so that when it soaks into the skin it will be the correct side up.” Triumphantly. Hey, I had to admit, as I said previously, mathematical precision... I touched her nipple and she brushed my hand away giggling. “No, this is the wrong size, should be this finger...” she said, leaping off my chest and the bed. I heard her bare feet rushing away and then immediately back.

    I froze. The ring on her finger, the shape, the writing... it was not supposed to be there, what the hell was happening? She jumped back on my chest, almost crushing my ribs and smothering me. Then she slid by my side, curling up, and started playing with the ring on my finger. Her ring’s twin. The ring on my finger? I sat up suddenly disregarding her moans of protest, pulled it out and looked inside. Letters written there, mirrored, love words, a love declaration. I started shivering. I didn’t remember fainting right away or falling asleep within seconds.

    She was there, watching me, patiently waiting for me to wake up. I thought red shoes and shot a fast glance to the door. There was a pair of shoes there. Red. She hated red.

    “You hate red,” I managed to say.

    “I love red shoes,” she answered, her gaze still fixed on my face. “And I love your stories. And I love fairies. You refuse to buy me a fairy...” Ouch, thought she forgot that one... “... so tell me a story with fairies.”


    “Because I ask.”

    “I don’t want to, not now.”

    “Please, maybe almost about fairies?...” ...that smile, oh that smile that I could not resist even tied to a cement block... A feeling of nauseating uneasiness started creeping upon me, I tried to keep it in. She didn’t listen to my repeated unvoiced plea, took the teddy bear in her arms, lay down with her head in my lap and closed her eyes. So beautiful, so innocent.

    What am I doing, I asked myself. I am either insane or insane. Was something really happening to me or was I just tired? I looked again, uncomprehending, to the ring on my finger, seeing nothing special about it and still in the fog as to how it got there. I started caressing her hair. She moaned dreamily and I knew I had no choice. I had to tell her a story. But I was afraid, why was I suddenly afraid to tell her a story?


    Once upon a timeless legend, in those placeless, ageless lands
    Hiding hind of yonder mountains, no one knows nor understands,
    Depth of mighty fairies kingdom stretching sea to endless sea,
    In the grey of songless chambers writes a king his new decree...
    Down those eyes of tearless wisdom burns the hopelessness of gloom
    As his mind in dreamless slumber plays again the curse of doom.

    Way before forgotten seasons, spun from old to old to old
    Tells the story of a splendor far beyond the bright of gold,
    Rolling laughter playing sunsets long of cobweb’s tinkling string,
    Handsome zephyrs chasing fairies deep of eye and rich of wing,
    In the warmth of wilting flowers blooming with awaking life
    Dancing couples sharing dreamscapes sunshine rich and honey rife.

    Living carpets dressing mountains reaching deep into the seas
    Woven with the tunes of nightscapes twined with buzz of angry bees,
    Forests red of dawning autumns married to awaking springs
    Teeming with delighted chatter long as morning coyly sings,
    Sparks of jade hind dreaming eyelash touched by wanting finger tips,
    Ruby mouths in fearless hunger kissed by hard and tender lips.


    Oh, accursed young seed of kingdom, knave of wild and rascal ways
    Lusting for that human maiden, eyes of forest, hair of blaze,
    Body sculptured softest marble stolen from the virgin cliffs
    Whispering to morning’s sunlight lark’s delighted waking riffs,
    Ravished from her warm abode by the mindless, lusting youth
    King by birthright and by breeding, gutters deep his way uncouth.

    Wastes in grief a raving father, sudden age ploughing his brow
    “Cursed be, son of foreign realm raping hearts with no avow,
    Cursed your legacy and kingdom worn from son to son to son,
    Thousand years of sunless mornings, birdless forests, guileless none,
    Sweet the flower you have smitten, sweetless be your ripened fruit,
    Round of eyebrow, breast so tender... dead let be your maiden loot...

    In a grave of ageless crystal shall her body lie to rest,
    In a grave of ageless living shall your kingdom taste the pest,
    Flowerless your lifeless valleys, seething worms your failing graves
    As the stank of death dispatches through the drought its mighty waves,
    Dreamless sleep and sleepless worries, smileless children bare of bless,
    Colourless your kingdom’s rainbow, known will be as Kingdom Less...”

    Thousand years the curse is reigning, dead’s the joy in fairies lands,
    Morning’s mist, in endless fashion, waking eyes with sorrow brands,
    Treasures high as topless mountains pile like garbage long the ways,
    Zephyrs mourn scant recollections, fairies grieve forgotten days.
    Thousand years... then one more morning. Sighs the king and calls his guard,
    “Call it out...” ...the kingship’s edict is with seal of kingdom charred.

    “He who lifts the curse of kingdom, rubies thousand be his prize,
    Be it sorceress or wizard, be it common, be it wise,
    He who fails, a hundred lashes will encroach his bleeding back
    And a thousand river pebbles will be poured into his sack,
    He who does, in stars be dressing, fireflies will pave his way,
    He who don’t, in mud be clothed wading out of stinking clay.

    So decreed!”
    ...and days start rolling bringing masters of all trades,
    In the lust and greed of richess, wisdom wilts and reason fades,
    Wizened witches, dragon masters, sorcerers of days untold,
    Seed of humans yonder mountains dressed in glinting sheets of gold,
    Some for moments paint the colors, some for days a flower groom,
    Never stops the lashing thunder, never lifts the endless gloom.

    “King, sir master...” “Yes, sir chieftain...” “There’s a lad of age unclear,
    Waiting at the gate allowance, under raining swear and jeer,
    Asks your throne to near in counsel. Dark of eye and bare of horse,
    Seems to be of lowest beggar, torn of garb, corrupt and coarse.”
    “What his trade?” “Forgive me, master, neither wizard, neither sage,
    Never came his breed this kingdom, calls his trade a... poet mage?”

    “Let him come.”
    The massive pillars lose the crowns in clouds aloft,
    Nears the throne the mangy human, with a step assured and soft,
    Empty is the mighty chamber, king decreed the gates be locked,
    “By the thousands, false pretenders to my gates for days have flocked,
    All are gone, and all my rivers empty are of pebble stone
    And the rubies wait, untaken, witness to my kingdom’s groan,

    Empty months have gone in fury, burns my anger, aches my chest,
    Whence you come so late?” “My dwelling lies beyond the sleeping west.”
    “Make your deed... no tools you handle?... where’s your cauldron, where’s your tome?
    Lift the gloom, and take the rubies, fail... and crows’ nest be your home.”
    “King, your words of bitter meaning part are playing in the curse,
    Yet I know your heart is begging tunes to voice in tender verse...”

    “Know you not!”
    the king’s voice bellows, glints in wrath his rising blade...
    Softly rhymes a word the poet... rainbows five the skies invade,
    Halts the kingdom’s roving wander, creeping smiles touch minds beguiled,
    Halts the king in breathless marvel, rough his breath, his whisper wild
    “Poet mage, or lad of yonder, magic is this, or is life?...
    Or illusion’s malediction guising slaughter’s cruel knife?”

    “Curse I came to lift from kingdom, curse from kingdom lift I will,
    Wound in soul and pain of sorrow with my art I’ll scar and heal,
    Tell me not the prize be taken, prize I take as be my wish...”

    From his shirts a pallid parchment gently floats through roll and swish,
    Silent in his dreamland’s landscapes kneels the poet on the floor
    Sifting through foregoing phrases touching memories of lore...

    From a crumb of breaking charcoal letters pour onto the white
    As from fingers flow the colors and the black turns word, turns sprite,
    Rhyme turns rune and rune turns magic, fragrance streams through flower beds,
    Chirrup laden forests waken, children’s smile the valleys threads...
    Bares the king his robes of duty as kneels at poet’s side
    Watching wonder of creation by a poet’s whim abide.

    Slows the hand, and slows the chanting, glints adorn the poet’s brow
    As his eye the king’s is searching, and his word is soft and slow...
    “Now the maiden.” “Maiden?” “Maiden. Raptured innocent of sin
    By your fore and fore forefather... deathless in her crystal skin...”
    “Whence your knowledge?” “Whence my powers? Whence my endless searing pain?
    Me in marriage was she promised, never to be torn again.”

    “That I won’t, take twice the rubies, take my sceptre, take my crown,
    I will give you mountains, valleys, crossing oceans your renown,
    Never will I give the maiden waiting life’s awaking bliss,
    Since my father’s father father I be waiting for her kiss...”
    “Be your wish, yours is the kingdom, if by sunrise she ain’t wake
    Back returns the curse your household, nevermore away to take.”

    Silent is the king and thoughtful, hard his burden, bright his eyes
    Burning with untold desires hidden hind a mask of ice,
    Melting is the ice and crawling nether eyelids tightly shut
    Plowing in the flesh of cheekbone furrows deep and bleeding rut,
    “May her choice be...” sounds his whisper, gone’s the word with no return,
    “May her choice be...” says the poet... Nearing rays through darkness burn...


    Oh, so pale her lifeless fingers thin as slivers varnished white,
    Strawberries her lips have painted, lost in breathless endless plight,
    Flaming hair dressing the pillow way a flame through thistles glows,
    From her silent breasts the yearning for a lover’s fire flows,
    Thin the fabric round her body hugging soft and lifeless flesh,
    Thousand years of death... her beauty like a morning’s dewdrop fresh.

    Kneels the king, and kneels the poet, silent moments passing by,
    “What will be your deed, sir poet? Moments pass, and minutes fly...”
    Broods the face, a fist is clenching for the strike... the crystal sings
    As its thousands shards of music slowly slide on tuneless strings,
    On her finger slides the poet one small ring of silver ore
    Ancient letters odd of saying through her skin begin to bore.

    Asks the king “What is the saying?...” as a crimson stain departs
    From the finger, slowly spreading, then with fury wildly darts
    Rips like flood through frozen valleys, boils like light through sunless dreams,
    Breath... a sigh... and heartbeat’s music suddenly through body streams.
    “Says... you make your choice of living..., says... you make your choice of love...”
    Waiting sun in east is peeking, time has come to crawl above.

    Graciously like snowflakes floating in a morning’s lifting breeze
    She alights in clouds of silver bearing scents of orange trees,
    Round her ankles petals blooming as she threads across the tiles
    Leaving stains of golden powder curling gaily into smiles...
    “Who of you I owe my saving from the endless death of sleep
    To his heart my life to offer and my days of youth to reap?”

    Says the king... “This noble poet gave his magic for your life,
    If there justice is in being he has earned your right to wife,
    Take his ring, the twin you’re wearing, and let bliss pave both your ways
    In the lands beyond the mountains he will sing your love ablaze...
    And remember that a kingdom I could offer you instead,
    And a love of never ending if my life you were to wed.”

    Says the poet... “King and master offered kingdom for your sake,
    If there justice is in being it’s his life you will partake,
    Take his ring, the ruby fire and your life in sweet incense
    Will be dressed through nights and mornings, days of laughter ever thence...
    And remember that the magic I could offer you instead,
    And a love of never ending if my life you were to wed.”

    In her tender hand the maiden takes the rings, her fingers close,
    Flushing tints her paleness conquer, deeper as her forehead bows,
    Eyelids drop one single moment to prevent her lakes to spill
    In her hand she holds the power whom to spare and whom to kill,
    Then her kiss touches her fingers and her hand drops to her side,
    Twin the rings and twin engravings from her fingers slowly glide...


    “Take your rubies!” “King and master, prize will be my wish, as said...”
    Leaves the king the mighty chamber, at his side the silent maid,
    On her finger shines the ruby, on the floor two orphan rings
    Scream engraved demented fury, cursing humans, dreams and kings,
    Smiles the poet at the sparkle of the thousand rubies stack
    As he slowly starts collecting thousand pebbles in his sack...


    She was still lying there in my lap, asleep or maybe just pretending to be asleep. Her angelic smile not changed for one single moment during the whole of my telling time. Only once she moved, when her hand sneaked to her eye controlling an unseen wet spot and then returning to lie by her side. I had no illusions. I knew. Pebbles strewn all over the floor telling me a story I refused to remember, yet I just told.

    “You are leaving me, aren’t you?”

    She opened her eyes and looked up at me, no longer smiling, no longer asleep. She sat up, joining my regard fastened unwaveringly to the red ruby ring adorning her left hand’s finger. Her clenched right fist shivering, white knuckles breaking through the skin. Then she lifted a green regard and branded her flame inside my eyes.

    “There is magic, I know. There is love, I know. I wonder what is stronger.” She touched her lips to mine. “Your lips are cold, I think you gave up your magic.” She never opened her fist. She opened just thumb and forefinger, picked up the ruby ring and pulled it off her finger and in one swift movement threw it inside one of the red shoes at the door. “I never liked red shoes. And by the way, I hate red anyhow.”

    Then she opened her fist. I looked at my fingers and hers, they were bare. She picked up the bigger of the two engraved rings from her palm and slid it on my finger. Then she took the smaller one and slid it on her finger. “I guess that love is stronger than magic. The king never knew it, he could not read it. You did. I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.



Just A Short Love Story

    I tried to understand her eyes. I mean, eyes have a color, no? I couldn’t grasp hers. Times moody grey, green when happy, hazel when furious. I watched them two inches away from mine trying to make up my mind.

    They change according to my mood.

    I almost jumped, but her hands, clenched behind my back, held me steady in place. I looked at her lips. They were closed, the little heart shaped opening in their midst emanating spring flavors. She could not speak with a closed mouth, even a ventriloquist needs to open his mouth to talk.

    She smiled, lips still closed.

    I don’t talk, I talk to you.

    “What do you mean, how?”

    Witches can do funny things, you know. Like talk directly to your mind.

    I started laughing, she joined me heartily, her arms never relaxing their steel hold from around my body.

    “It’s a trick, I know. I know about witches, I wrote a story about them.” I winked. “Their eyes are two colors, one green one blue.”

    This time she talked. With her mouth, I mean.

    “I don’t know how you did it, but you were close. Except that their eyes are not different from each other, they just change colors. Do you want me to read your future? Give me your hand.” She did not wait for permission, took my left hand and started following its wrinkles. “Hmmm... you have a very long life line... I see big, huge love...” she stopped a moment, her lower lip trembling... “this is her, you love her, you told me...” I tried to pull my hand back but it was like trying to pull a nail from a concrete wall, “here, you see this short line deviating to the right, stumped immediately after, this is a second love entering your life... and then again, shortly after, one single line continuing left, one love... she...” She closed my fist and guided it to her lips. “You will return to her, won’t you?”

    The sudden pang of reality hit me.

    “We knew it, before we started. I return to her. I love her.”

    She fixed me intensely, something burning at the bottom of those eyes, a question there, answer unknown.

    “Do you love me?” she asked. “Even though I am a witch?”

    I looked at her, she suddenly smiling and I suddenly serious. How did it happen between us? I tried to recollect the right order of events but I had a problem doing it under the crossfire of those chameleon eyes. It started by joking on the net. Then the jokes became words and real chats, discussions, stories, poems... And finally I had to come to the states on business and she said hey, I live nearby, why don’t we meet?... Innocently, no intentions, I was as certain the moment I agreed as the moment she met me at the airport. We entered her car, and suddenly we woke up from an embrace as devastating as a volcano’s fiery mouth. How did it happen, was she really a witch? Now we were here, three days later, and I was as madly in love, like a schoolboy being kissed by his preferred silver screen star. No, stupid comparison, like... well, like a man lost forever... I kept looking at her, that smile never fading from her face. Was she reading my thoughts?

    “You joking, right?” I asked.


    “So you are crazy.”

    “Does it matter?”

    Did it matter? What the hell, I was in love with this... creature... my goodness, look at me talking... and crazy or witch I did not give a damn.

    “I love you.”

    “I know, I joked, I am a witch remember?”

    She confused me alright. And if I remembered, then I certainly forgot in the haze of the hot events which followed.


    Seven days. We sat there hugging, not moving. The hard bench underneath us acting as a reminder of the real world swooning around us and about to engulf us again. Meaningless hardships enforced upon us as a prison’s routine we could not escape from. The small airport looked bare, the few waiting passengers looking through us like through a clear window pane bereft of warning signs. We politely returned the favor, everybody was transparent, invisible, as our foreheads leaned against each other and each pair of eyes strained to focus on the other; failing miserably in the effort and therefore starting to tear. Therefore? I wondered at the meaning.

    “You will never return. There was one single short line leaving your palm’s life line.”

    “I will never return. There was one single short line leaving my palm’s life line.” I hardly saw her face, the white of dirty snow cracked by rivulets of mascara running through it to unknown destinations. “I love you, I always will. You know it.”

    “I know it. I am dying. I love you.” Not crying yet the stream of droplets from her eyes never ending. I hugged her wildly and she clawed at my spine with animal fierceness. “Don’t forget me, promise me.”

    I pulled slightly away fingering the half moon hanging around my neck and kissed it. Then I bent and kissed the other half hanging limply, high on her pale chest. Then I hugged her again. She never winced at the pain of that terrible embrace.

    Voices, impersonal. Please go to the gate. Walking hand in hand. A final endless kiss. Some endless things seemed to end nevertheless.

    “Take it with you,” she said, handing me a small coke bottle. “You may be thirsty, who knows when they will give you something to drink up there in the air?...” I felt like laughing, like crying, like howling. Took the small plastic bottle, put it in my bag and exited the terminal. I looked back. I could not see anything, the sun’s glare reflecting in the large windows blinded me. The plane took off. The end.


    Back home. Three months now. I was deeply in love with the woman I returned to, the woman who shared my passion for three years and more. Three years of heaven, last half year of... what was it - hesitation, boredom, wish to change? It seeped in between us steadily, in our words, in our mails, in our recurring declarations of love. Shorter sentences, late responses... She was deeply in love with me. We started drifting in different directions, unbearable heartache hiding inside meaningless messages. I leafed swiftly through some old emails.

    Dearest, today I must work late, don’t wait for me. Keep the ‘messenger’ warm for tomorrow : ) . Love.

    Two days ago it was Dearest, tomorrow I have a meeting... A week ago it was ...a company outing... One month ago... does it matter? She was sending me mixed signals, pouting from time to time when I responded a bit coldly, happy when I was sending hot love declarations then sliding again into the routine of ...sorry, so busy...Funny, I thought to myself, we met only once in all these three years, we made love savagely then parted knowing we will always love each other whatever happens. We never asked for ‘loyalty’, we did ask for love, warmth, intimacy even if only of the written kind. And it was sliding away... ‘slip sliding away...’ words and melody kept sliding into my thoughts uninvited, and I felt the tear inside me getting rougher, the pain overwhelming. I loved her, fiercely... and a pair of green eyes in the hidden depths of my memory kept pulling at my mind’s sleeve and asking... and me, do you love me fiercely too?...

    I tried mailing my green eyed witch from time to time, no answer. Was I so easy to forget, like that other song’s words? Probably, I thought in bitterness, as I opened a new mail that had just arrived from my lover.

    My dear lover, my one and only. I love you immensely, you know we must part. Let’s part while we are still loving friends and not wait for the moment we will hate each other. You were my sun, you claimed I was your sunshine... let’s keep the warmth, forever. Please do not answer. I love you.

    For a few moments I was impassive, the message did not record upon my brain. Then I re-read it, slowly this time, trying to understand if this mail was addressed to me. And then read it again, a third time, loudly, my heartbeat wild.

    A few words. A world falling down. An abyss opening. Suddenly I felt like bellowing inside, the rage at recognizing the inevitable, the expected, the rage at my own impotence to change anything, the rage at my pain so terrible yet so soothing. It was over, at least she had no pain or so I hoped. Maybe she found a new lover? I was not jealous, rather... hopeful that this was what happened. Was this what I was, hopeful? I turned off the computer and started sobbing. I had two lovers. I had none. I banged my head on the monitor screen and kept crying till I fell asleep with my head on the table.

    I woke up at three in the morning. My eyes were puffed like bitten by an insect, bloodshot, dirty. I went to the bathroom to wash my face then went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. The small plastic bottle of coke was still there, why the hell didn’t I drink it till now? I kept buying cans and big bottles, but the one from her was still on the shelf, untouched, like some priceless souvenir from a priceless adventure. Maybe both were correct? I tired fast at my own philosophy and opened the bottle.

    “Girl, this is your party now. I wish you knew it. Now I could have stayed with you. Now is too late. Now you have probably forgotten me in some other guy’s arms. I love you girl, and you will never know how much.”

    I poured it into a crystal champagne goblet and gulped it down. Then lighted a candle and let the flame burn my palm just at the split of the life line into a left trace and a right trace. I kept it there screaming in pain till police crashed down the door and the thin prick of a needle turned my painful wakefulness into painful slumber.


    I was released from the mental section of the hospital three months later. Funny, I thought to myself, lately my life seemed to move in segments of three months each. Even though I shouldn’t jump so fast to conclusions after just two such events, I smiled inwardly. I wasn’t crazy and they knew it. But they were not ready to take any chances and kept me in till the official release committee agreed to let me go. I did not mind, crazy people are some of the nicest folk you may find. Getting out is what frightened me.

    I did not lose my job, as the official reason for my hospitalization was depression, and I was protected by whatever law protected depressed ones. I was certainly going to lose it later when they would find a good reason to tell me I failed somewhere. Tough luck, right now it was not work that I had on my mind. My left hand had been grafted with new skin and it was still bandaged. After failing two times, the third operation seemed to be healing nicely or so they claimed.

    I went home, opened all windows to get the fresh air chase the stale smells inside, emptied my fridge into the garbage can, put a few shirts and underwear into a back pack and called a cab to the airport. I checked my email before leaving. Empty, even spammers seemed to have forgotten me.

    I arrived around 11am, took again a cab to the school where she was teaching, sat on a bench in front of the gate and waited. I was not bored, I was not worried, I was not there. I just sat, my eyes on the school gates, my hands crossed on my chest, silent, patient. Hoping only no one would call the cops thinking me a drug pusher.

    The bell rang the final ring, and school busses started filling up and leaving. Then some adults started leaving as well, probably teachers or administrators. Finally she appeared at the building’s door together with a young fellow, talking, laughing. They went out of the gate, she looked at me a passing unrecognizing look, continued with the other fellow to a parked car which he opened and got in. She opened the passenger door bent inside, picked up a book, and closed the door again waving goodbye. The car left.

    She crossed the street, approached the bench, sat on it smoothing the skirt underneath her, leaned back and closed the hazel regard of her eyes, hands in her lap. I leaned back, closed my eyes, hands in my lap. The sun was warm on my face. I sensed it advancing round the sky, till a weak chilly breeze started to caress my skin same time as the light penetrating through my closed eyelids started getting softer. I finally opened my eyes again and looked at her.

    I found her looking at me, not questioning, not surprised, simply calm, motionless. Her breasts’ line rising and falling a bit faster than expected, but except for that she could have been a mime portraying a sitting statue. What was she looking at, my eyes? I did not move, I waited. I waited for so long, what are a few moments more? After all it could end in minutes. Or in a lifetime.

    Finally I saw her hand moving, lifting from her lap and touching the front of my shirt, unbuttoning the top two buttons and pulling the thin chain out. The golden half moon sparkled in the descending sun and for a moment the reflection hit her eye. Hitting me back from wet grey infinite depths. Then she picked my left hand, let it lie in her lap, and started unwinding the white bandages. I let her do, unknowing of her intentions, uncaring, shivering... probably the breeze, I thought.

    She did it softly, slowly, layer after layer coming off and falling into her lap till finally the last of it was off, the paleness of the baby new skin contrasting sharply with the rest of my dark complexion. She took hold of my palm and neared it to her face looking at it intensely. Then she lifted a green regard piercing straight into me and neared my open palm to my face. I had no idea what she expected me to do so I looked down. Her finger traced my life line, barely touching it, reaching the spot where it split to the right and following it further right, and further... till the edge of my hand. The left side of the split was short, stumped... I looked up at her, uncomprehending. She smiled. The sun stopped its descent. The birds stopped mid flight. Cars stopped. People froze. Silence.

    “I am the witch. You are the miracle. Thank you. For happening into my life.”

    I grabbed her and dragged her to my chest and my hands dug into her back like the claws of a vice as my mouth was crushing the life out of hers. I felt the freshly grafted skin breaking and bleeding in places staining her white shirt. I didn’t care, I knew she didn’t care. It was not my blood anymore, it was ours.



Small Miracles

    I’ll change your nightmares children’s rune,
    And paint you snowflakes depths of June,
    And fill your eye orbs to the brim
    With stolen daisies from my dream.

    Your floor I’ll turn warm desert sand,
    Your skin with shivers I will brand,
    And if a sigh escapes your chest
    I’ll guide it back inside your breast.


    “Tell me more, tell me more,” she begged.

    “Listen, there is a limit to miracles,” I laughed.

    “You are right,” she said, and I frowned for a moment. “My miracle happened already. You are here.” She didn’t even open her eyes as she said it. I kissed her left eyelid.

    “I don’t call it a miracle,” I said. It was her turn to frown now, but she knew better than to try to talk. It was one of those moments when any protest would end in a kiss. That’s why she usually did protest. This time she waited to hear. “Miracles always happen to others, don’t they? This one happened to us.”

    I watched her intently, her eyes moving underneath the eyelids as she pondered my words’ meaning. Then she turned her back to me, wiggled her way tightly into my body and placed my right palm over her right breast.

    “Then we must invent a new name for it.”

    You do it!”

    “No, you, you are the poet.”

    “You are the inspiration.”

    She giggled happily.

    “You will laugh at me.”

    “No, I won’t.”

    “You will, you will...”

    “I won’t, I won’t...”

    Another giggle.

    “Promise?” I was about to answer but she turned swiftly around closing my mouth with a painful kiss, forcing me to wince. Then turned back to her previous position. “It is terribly corny, and stupid, and unimaginative... you won’t laugh, will you?... you didn’t promise...” This time I knew better than to open my mouth. I felt a smile cracking her features. “I will simply call it... love”. My fingers sensed the blush creeping into her cheeks.

    Yes, I thought to myself, miracles happen. One just did.


    I’ll drag your clouds into the sun,
    And guess your secrets all but one,
    And fill your heartland’s raging stream
    With crystal droplets from my dream.

    Your sleep I’ll turn desire’s hue,
    Your feet I’ll dress in linden dew,
    And if the pain nestles your heart
    I’ll guide it out with lover’s art.



Another Kind Of Love

    or Lost And Found

    Freezing cold, windy. The darkness absolute just a foot away, the paleness of her face reflecting only an internal glow and constantly seeping warmth. She was leaning against the side of the car, hugging her body with her arms and trying to keep from wincing at the cutting wind. I pulled out a blanket from the car and put it above our heads like a tent. The wind changed into a noisy lament and the steam of our breath filled up the small space with humid warmth. I could still see the white of her face, maybe because now I was hardly half an inch away from it?

    She moved her arms around my waist and tightened the grip. I felt like a piece of meat inside a mincing machine and couldn’t help but love the sensation. My hands were busy holding the blanket above our heads and she allowed herself some indecencies that I couldn’t fight off. Not that I would if I could... I thought.

    “You smile,” she cooed, her hands back to their decent position. She surprised me, I wasn’t aware of any escaping smiles. I have to do something with this lack of control, I thought, or this is the end of me. “Here you go, smiling again...” and to prove her point she stuck her tongue between my lips and followed the movement with her mouth.

    Humans have a funny way to prove their love, or gratitude, they have this thing called kiss and they use it all over the world in various forms. Even intimately. I was warned during my training that I would have to give in from time to time to this disgusting habit as part of the sacrifice needed for carrying through an assignment. And when I had to perform a simulation with my training partner I almost vomited my lunch over him. But now, this first assignment and I was in its fifth day, I discovered a liking for this form of endearment. I made a mental note that I should apply for an insanity check-up when back home, I hope this is not something deadly.

    “And again... stop it,” she giggled and dragged my hands with their blanket load behind her neck, forcing me to pull her head towards me and kiss her savagely. I felt the bite but the need was so strong that I disregarded it and squeezed her body into mine till I heard bones cracking. My lord, I was seriously contaminated...

    We rested in this position for about fifteen minutes, wind forgotten, blanket forgotten, kiss... how in hell could that be forgotten? This time I controlled the reflex perfectly and she didn’t feel the new creeping smile trying to burst out. I awarded myself two medals, then opened the car door and jumped on the passenger seat leaving her mumbling outside, dissatisfied with just minutes of heaven... I want years... she kept saying, yet knowing that for the time being it was just days she had to be content with. She threw the blanket after me and did not follow.

    “Come in, love, you will freeze to death.”

    “No chance, the gators will get me before that.”

    I laughed. The chances for an alligator “visiting” in this weather were nil minus, and probably even they wouldn’t be able to see the end of their muzzle, let alone find tasty human food. But... well, I have never been a gator... I pulled her in by force having her sitting on my knees and kissed her again till I felt her starting to fight for oxygen. I let her take in some then kissed her the same again. After five times she finally gave in, got into the driver’s seat and started the engine. The twin beams cut through the ink surrounding us and I heard her squeal with laughter.

    “See, told you...” The alligator crossing lazily in front of us was making quite a show of making us believe he had other business than chasing hapless humans. I shivered and kissed her wildly once more. It was a short one, yet after that she looked at me with a questioning regard.

    “What’s the matter, love? You never kissed me like this before.”

    “I never almost lost you before, woman.”

    She laughed again and kissed me lightly. Then started rolling slowly forwards making sure she didn’t touch the disappointed reptile. They are a protected species she kept telling me for the last two days, though I knew that she would sidestep an ant, let alone a fully grown animal.

    We drove in silence in the general direction of the shabby motel, my daily allowance not permitting anything fancier and she caring nothing of it. All she was seeing was me, my eyes, my dimples, and other girlie things, and most of the time her eyes were closed anyway as most of the time we were kissing or making love. Who the hell needed a 50 inch TV screen anyway?...

    “Here you go again... who are you smiling at this time?”

    We were driving at a steady 45mph since speed traps around here are as thick as fleas on a monkey, as she kept saying, so she kept at five miles underneath the speed limit. Just playing it safe, I don’t want to lose fifteen minutes of love making because of some ignorant cop uses some misadjusted radar gun...

    “I was just thinking that if that alligator would have attacked you I would have had to fight it like Tarzan. And all I have on me is a bunch of plastic credit cards. Do you think it would have taken Visa?” She smiled but did not laugh. Strange, I thought, this kind of innocent jokes usually pulled explosions of laughter from her.



    “Am I your Jane?”

    She kept her eyes on the road as I touched her cheek with two fingers and brought them to my lips. The sweet flavor of cosmetic powder mixed with the female skin underneath it invaded my smelling sense and forced me to close my eyes for a few seconds.


    It took us several hundreds of years to reach the present level of disinformation, and finally the effort started bearing fruit. And the last century has proven crucial in achieving the present status. Luckily we conquered a few key positions in the movie producing scene, some of us held editorial jobs with the biggest editorial houses around the world, and to our great relief, imagination was starting to play a much more important role than fact. By now everybody believed that vampires were born in Romania, that they hated garlic and sun, and that a wooden stake through their hearts would kill them. Ha, I was as sunburnt as a Miami Beach surfing king and a wooden stake through anybody’s heart would kill anybody. The difference being that vampires don’t really die. They are simply recycled and they lose much of their personal memories in the process. But they keep their race memory.

    My name in my own “milieu” was Zazel. Why? Because. Did you ever think why someone is called Jack? So I was Zazel, though my ID said Joey. After all we were a miserable minority and we had to keep appearances. Even here in the states where everybody seemed to have gained equality of rights irrelevant of race, color, sexual orientation and car size... well, do you see humans ever according equality of rights to vampires? After all, let’s not forget it, we are blood drinkers. And this is factually true. Human blood is an essential ingredient to our race’s survival, and blood deprivation leads to real death, unlike Hollywood crosses, and holy water and things. Death, forever, no recycling.

    My original job was maintenance engineer in one of our many isolated communities’ hydroponics farms. Nobody went around biting necks anymore, we grew blood based cultures in tightly controlled environments and mixing their ingredients with normal food allowed us to live an almost normal life. Almost, with the exception of children. We could never conceive a child neither between us nor in mixed sex relations with humans. Recycling was the only way to be “born”, and when one of us died for real due to under nourishment, whatever the basic reason inclusive suicide, that place was lost forever. We lost seventy nine this year. Out of a total of about eight thousand world wide.


    “Jeanne, you are not my Jane,” I answered. She frowned but did not turn to look at me, guessing there was more coming. There was, and there was much more to it than she could ever imagine. “You are my life,” I said, feeling a storm raging inside my mind and fighting hard to keep it from showing. This time she smiled, and in her turn touched my cheek with the tip of her index finger bringing it back to her mouth and kissing it. And you are our life I thought further, wishing never to have been reborn or recycled or whatever anyone cared to call it. Certainly not to have been chosen for this assignment.

    We stopped for a small snack, munching silently, I with my right hand and she with her left while our other respective hands were holding tight to each other across the table top. Come to think of it, almost all of our time from the moment we met, we were holding each other’s hand like Siamese twins born attached at their palms. From time to time she reluctantly allowed me the freedom to blow my nose, only to grip my hand again immediately after, even hungrier than before. Were all human relationships as intense as this, I wondered to myself? Though I knew the answer to be positively negative, I could not keep from trying to understand what was happening here between the two of us. I, guilty as hell with my knowledge, she, innocent as a newborn with regard to the same knowledge.

    “I love you,” I said, feeling like it and feeling like saying it.

    “I know,” she responded, cleaning a mustard stain from my chin with her finger and licking it. Then she smeared mustard from her own sandwich on her finger and pushed it into my mouth allowing me to lick it and bite it slightly. “Just making sure you don’t miss any with your food,” she smiled pulling her finger back and licking it clean. It was for the whole five days the same. Feeling like one, acting like one, no shame, no reluctance, no holding back. And I could foresee what was going to happen when back in the hotel, the rapid peeling of clothes, the fingernail scratches, the bites, the ecstasy, the agony, the relief... then again... It was completely different from what I expected at the beginning and from what I was trained to expect. This here was not a human woman, this was a love craved machine that dragged me into her corner and kept poisoning me with her way of life till inside a few hours I was enslaved by such needs that I never knew existed in me. Neither did all the extensive checks performed on me before being sent to this mission discover any inclination of the kind. There must be something contagious about it and it must be reported, I kept thinking as my eyes kept melting inside hers.

    She was identified by our hospital scouts as one of five possible donors. A divorced mother of three, there were enough records and blood samples around to perform the checks and come back with a conclusive assessment that, within a few controllable parameters, she could provide the necessary boost to our food program. The unpleasant yet immediate necessity. Last couple of years’ events rolled fast through my mind, as if trying to justify, explain, plead for the forgiveness of mind and conscience.

    Two suspect deaths in our ranks, about two years back, lead to the discovery of the fact that our hydroponics growth quality degraded and a vital enzyme linked to our regenerative capabilities does not react anymore to chemical stimulation, and does not develop in sufficient quantities inside the basic components. Further research confirmed it beyond doubt - a basic enzyme component aged, and there was need for a refreshed supply of its kind. And the source could be just one, human. If we want to survive we must find a live donor of the right kind of blood and fast. Five were identified, one died in a car accident. Jeanne was one of the other four. I was assigned to her protection, both in body and in eating habits to ensure her blood did not change its composition before we were ready to use it in our farms. Till the time was right. I was her bodyguard. She did not know. My job was to make her fall in love with me. I wrote her poetry. She fell in love with me. We met. My job was not to fall in love with her, vampires do not fall in love. I fell in love with her. Badly. Madly.

    “A penny for your thoughts,” she whispered. I did not even see her getting up and moving close to me on the wooden bench, our hands still clasped tightly together.

    “What about a dollar?” I asked, winking.

    “Let’s compromise, what about a kiss?” she responded and acted in the same one breath.

    “Hey, what about some more of this?”

    She wrinkled her nose.

    “You mean my kiss is not even one single dollar’s worth?”

    “True,” I responded, “it is priceless, no price, no value, zilch, nada...”

    “Hey, you don’t have to play your illiterate games with me, leave it for your groupies who...”

    I kissed her, hard. Madness adding impetus to my mouth and my free hand sinking inside the thickness of hair at the back of her head and squeezing as if I wanted to smear her skull all over my face. She didn’t fight, she gave in abandoning her fate to my attack of insanity, allowing me to bite her lips the way she would allow a beloved, hungry beast from which she would accept anything..

    “What’s the matter, love? You never kissed me like this before. Hey... didn’t I say it already earlier on?...”

    “I never lost you before, woman.”

    “...and before it was almost...”

    I sensed the current of air dying down as the door to the small snack bar closed and an elderly couple entered. I let go of her lips for a moment, popped two pills into my mouth crunching them savagely with my teeth then I kissed her again, harder than before, feeling her teeth bite deeper into my flesh as she winced in the pain of furious passion and want, then she went limp in my arms. The elderly couple sat next to me, smiling.

    “You can take her,” I screamed my thoughts straight into their minds, left a few dollars on the table and parted without looking back.


    I made my report and was given a few days off. It was obvious to everybody that the stress faced by me during this mission was above capacity, even for a vampire. I was proposed to have my DNA tested to try to identify the roots to my semi aberrant behaviour, and correct if necessary and if possible. But the mission having been successful, nobody really insisted on pursuing this request, and I preferred to forget it as well. I was proposed a nice bonus which I rejected, and instead asked for permission to visit her one last time. To my big surprise, the request was accepted.

    I neared the big round window allowing personnel to keep an eye inside the perfectly sterile room and looked at the three naked forms lying motionless on beds, tubes stuck inside their veins and breathing apparatus inside their nose. A few technicians were busy with the specialized machinery inside, testing and evaluating the blood. The fourth “candidate”, a black man from Sierra Leone, developed malaria in the last day and was dumped from the project. Nevertheless, three donors were more than enough as I was told by a beaming clinical chief. I felt like planting a wooden stake right through his heart there and then. But I kept my composure and followed him to the observation window. She was on the bed to the right, her chest rising and falling slowly, blood drops dropping into a tube and soaking into a quietly whirring apparatus, her breasts... oh, her breasts so full of passion and desire and fire lying flat, pale, like dead flesh on a living woman... I felt like screaming and banging my head into the glass window hoping to break it and cut my throat in the process... so what, I would be regenerated.

    I left the clinic and flew back home. My part was done, the rest was in the hands of scientists, and chiefs, and chemistry, and pure blind luck. I hoped they would find a sustainable solution, if not... well, I lived a few lives already, with some recollections, maybe it was our time to go, like the dinosaurs. Forgive me, Jeanne, I repeated for the thousandth time as I was watering the single flower that survived my trip, and broke the tenth glass of water that I was holding in my shaking hand trying to water the poor plant with.

    I decided to leave the broken pieces on the floor and went to the computer. My mail box was full with junk mail that I did not delete hoping it would one day overflow, and for the last three days two specific addresses kept sending me emails insistently which I refused to open. By now there were nineteen from the hospital and fourteen from her daughter. One day I would have to open them, I told myself, and on a sudden suicidal impulse double clicked at random on one of the hospital mails.

    “Dear Joey, we need you here for an urgent conference... there was an unclear problem with the dosage... double the concentration... useless... survival... we need to reach a decision...” ...I know, bastards and brothers, I know you have to reach a decision, did you reach a decision, bastards and brothers, did you reach a decision bastards and brothers, did you reach a decision bastards and brothers... life or death?... life or death?... life or death?...

    I went over to the half wilted flower stepping over the glass shards and not paying any attention to the cuts slicing through my feet, took the flower pot in my hand and sat with it in my lap in front of the computer screen. Then I double clicked the message from Jeanne’s daughter.

    “Where the hell are you, Joey?... listen, my mailbox subscription expired, and I am using Jill’s box... listen, you won’t believe it, you better sit down, I have to tell you...”

    I didn’t finish reading. I got up, shove my feet inside my shoes oblivious to laces, socks, and blood spilling from my cuts, carefully locked the door behind me and descended to the street. The taxi dropped me in front of the terminal and rushed away without waiting for any tip. The ticket stewardess kept looking from the flower pot in my arm to my face, back and forth, hesitating between fainting and smiling and calling security, and finally professionalism took over and she dared ask.

    “Where to, sir?”

    I smiled at her a smile I did not use since I won first place, age five, at a who pees farthest competition. I hugged the flower pot tighter to my body and I spoke partly to her, partly to the pot.

    “Home, we are going home...”


    I arrived there around 5am. I leaned on the door bell till she opened it, eyes bleary with unfinished sleep, her hair a tangle of plastic hedgehogs every married man’s nightmare, a widening smile cracking the green disgusting night mask she smeared on her face... I laid the pot carefully on the ground, slid my arms inside her night shirt till they encircled almost fully her bare back and neared my face to hers, smelling the heavenly cavernal smell of her unwashed mouth. Then I bit her lips till I felt blood dripping along the corner of my mouth. She struggled, not away but deeper inside my embrace, wishing to scream but unable to with her mouth imprisoned in mine. I didn’t let go of her lip and she finally succeeded to lisp...

    “What’s the matter, wove? You nevew kissed me wike this befowe. Oops... do I always wepeat mouself wike that?...”

    “I never lost and found you before, human.”

    She did an effort to laugh, a bit difficult under the circumstances.

    “Hey you’we wisping too, you said human instead of woman...” ...a girlish giggle...

    I slid the pot inside with my foot and kicked the door shut behind us. Wewcome home I told myself, wewcome home.




    “Tony, your little ass here... on the double!...”

    Tony joined the little group huddled together under the big oak table dragging the tattered teddy bear by its foot, and dropped to the floor in their middle. The screeching outside was terrifying, snapping noises and inhuman shrieks accompanied the repeatedly thumping noises that the hurricane dragged in its wake, and from time to time they could feel the walls shaking. ‘God, let it not fall on us, God, let it not fall on us...’ Jean kept praying, hugging all the kids to her chest and trying to hide the terror bubbling inside her. ‘Oh, my God, it was never as terrifying as today, please, please...’ she kept mumbling to herself while on the outside she was as calm as if they were having a sunny stroll in the park. The twins hugged each other, Tricia keeping the scared ferret inside her blouse with Anie caressing its small head and whispering to it and to herself encouraging words. Nica, as the eldest sister, was trying to set an example of serenity scribbling notes in her diary, yet, with every thunder her big eyes were blinking a hasty wish of ‘...please go away...’. She huddled against her mother, the two dogs continuously fighting for a place of safety across her knees. Everybody there except for the baby, and for a short moment Jean was thankful to whatever forces were at play at having her baby visiting with family, so many safe miles away. Thank God for little favors, she thought, hugging the rest of her tribe even tighter.

    I felt like laughing. It was what them, humans, call a surrealistic picture and I could not refrain from feeling a bit superior. I wasn’t fair, I knew, however my job was not fairness but rather statistics. I had to make sure I applied the master plan so the humans continued believing in this bullshit (have been too long on this planet, start using their expressions... shit... hey, see what I mean?) thus preventing them from finding us. As long as they believed in the statistical chance that there was intelligence “up there” they didn’t really look for it. Our job as supervisors was to perpetuate the myth about statistics rather then allow them to develop the deterministic sciences enough to make them able to guess the future. Which would allow them to find us, and they were just too immature to join the Union. In a few thousand years, if they don’t blow themselves up by that time... maybe...

    I was following this family for a few months now, having replaced the previously assigned supervisor, an asshole even by our own liberal measures. My assignment was all of Florida, reassigned from the Middle Ages of Europe (and the afore mentioned asshole re-assigned there, good for him, lol) and I was acting as objectively as expected. However from time to time I sinned with paying too much attention to a certain town, or certain individuals... somehow I started paying too much attention lately to this family. I watched them huddled underneath the massive table looking for protection from an eventual ceiling crash, why the hell didn’t they go into a cellar or bunker or whatever they call those underground structures?...

    The snap was loud. I saw the roof bulging inside, a few massive beams cracking noisily in sequence ready to leave their assigned elevated positions and tumble, crushing to the floor that oak table. It was all according to plan, another grain in the perfect statistical machine we were running throughout this world’s geography and their different historical periods, I was there just to ensure it happened within predefined tolerances. It was my job.

    I was a lousy supervisor. I just couldn’t do it. I thought them away.


    Jean opened her eyes cautiously. She was awake for quite some time now but didn’t dare show any sign of it, afraid she might see what she feared most, yet reassured by the breathing sounds around her. If it really was the “after” then as long as she had her kids with her it was okay. She wondered how, for the first time, she was aware of them around her by just smelling them. Or rather by the lack of any kind of smell except for her own sweat and her kids’ much too familiar smells. She even almost smiled sensing the animal smell of her pets... hey, they might allow dogs in heaven but I would have never thought they did it with ferrets...

    She sat up, looking bewildered around, the thin shiny metallic sheet slipping from her shoulders. She pulled it back hastily seeing she was completely naked underneath. Around her the kids were sleeping covered with the same kind of blanket, only the dogs seemed to have been left out, keeping their original dress. She gasped.

    “Tony, Tony, where are you?”

    I let the little boy materialize in her dimension and he ran towards her.

    “Mommy, mommy...” he shrieked happily, jumped on her shoulders pulling her down and started wrestling with her. “You slept soooooo much...”

    Jean let him have his bit of fun, all the time eyeing me with scared eyes, yet fully under control, and to a certain extent even showing signs of amusement for the boy’s sake. I decided to let her see me in a simili human form to appease her fright and permit a certain level of communication between us. It took me about two hundred years in different periods to learn to speak to humans, and I wasn’t yet sure I got to master all the subtleties of their primitive communication skills. It was so much easier to project rather than talk. But I checked their brain, it was much too primitive to be able to adopt this tool. Even their pet animals had several skills much more advanced then the humans. And they called themselves a superior race. My human form sniggered human-way and she sneered back at me.

    “What are you laughing at? What is this place? Why are my kids still asleep?” The voice was shaky, yet not hysterical. She gathered the little boy in her lap and crawled closer to the rest of the children, carefully examining each of them. Then, partly satisfied she stood up, carefully keeping the sheet around her body. I made a sofa next to her and she sat down with no hesitation, keeping the boy in her lap. I crossed over the space to her and sat down as well. This human body I created was quite functional.

    “Jean...” She shivered hearing her name and tightened her hold on the child. “Do you remember what happened?” She shook her head from side to side, glancing at the sleeping figures as if in search for encouragement. “I think you do, you just refuse to confirm it.” She stubbornly shook her head again and pointed to her sleeping children.

    “Why are they still asleep? I want them to wake up.”

    Human logic was always a weak point with me.

    “It is better if we let them all sleep, for their own sake. I woke up only the little one since he doesn’t have any sense of anxiety. And you, since you have to know. I believe I owe you that.”

    “My kids are strong, they can take anything that I can. I need them close to me.”

    “I will leave the decision to you. After we talk. You do remember, don’t you?”

    I saw her fingers trembling and I increased a bit the warmth surrounding her. I knew it had nothing to do with feeling cold, but I knew of nothing better to do. I did not want to touch her mind. My ethics were quite compulsory when it came to my behaviour. She finally looked up at me, tears accumulating in her eyes.

    “The roof was falling on us... the first beam just thundered on top of the table... then I woke up here. What is this place? Are we all dead? Are you some kind of gate keeper?” This time she let her tears stream freely, though she did not really sob. I remembered her on other occasions, and this was one of the reasons I started liking this human female and her family. She was tough even when hurting like hell. And she was teaching her kids to be the same. By, I smiled to myself, loving them so wildly.

    “Dear Jean, if I start explaining everything you will just get lost in a forest of misunderstandings. But I think you are strong enough and logical enough for some kind of low level explanation. Let me put it in just a few gentle words. My name in my own language is Oe. You are not dead. I pulled you out from underneath that table at the last moment, sorry that I was not fast enough to pull your clothes as well, I have limitations too and gave all my priority to the living forms. I pulled you into the transit space to my own world since it was the only place you could survive. In my own world you would have died instantly, it is nothing like yours and it is much too complicated to create the right kind of conditions floating around you all. So I just keep you all here.”

    I eyed her intensely. She was taking it quite well. She let her boy play with the ball I imagined for him and looked my way frowning slightly.

    “Can you maybe create some kind of clothing for me? I feel like the Tin Man of Oz in this metallic sheet.” She ended the sentence with a smile that bore holes through me. I was an alien to her kind, their shape and feelings and expressions were known to me only from studies and experience. Well, also from assuming their shape on many occasions. Yet my own biology allowed echoing their sentiments and I found myself loving that smile. To hell with my Supervisors’ Oath, this woman had caught me in some undefined magic, the way humans call it, and now I was in deep trouble with my kind because of her and her family. I interfered with the master statistics program on their behalf and the matter was now being considered by the highest technical hierarchy. And the human female, before even asking what next, was asking for... clothing. Humans are such complex creatures...

    I dressed them all in clothes similar to those they wore last time, though the material itself was based on our own kind of chemistry. But for them it was identical as long as they did not try to wash it... I exploded in laughter imagining the way it would simply melt in water...

    “No... sorry... I do not laugh at you, just thought of something funny.” I took her hand in mine. It was so pleasantly warm, humans are likable species, if only they would stop killing each other... “Jean, I am what you would call an alien.” She didn’t seem to be impressed. “It was forbidden for me to interfere with whatever was happening. I did it nevertheless because I allowed sentiment in my job. I did not lock it away the way I was obliged to do, I allowed myself to feel friendship for you. I like your kids. And I committed a crime towards my own world. Saving you is interference with the plan and considered a grave crime. In your own world it would be called treason. Now I am being judged for it.”

    “Are you saying that this world of yours is responsible for all the mess happening in my world, and not only are you creating the misery there, you are also forbidden to help? Then you are some kind of abominable creatures.” There was anger in those green eyes.

    “Jean, it is much too complex to explain our actions to you or any other human, however, basically our action is limited to ensuring that things should happen the way they are supposed to, actually preventing any kind of interference from changing the normal pattern. Any such change could prove to be disastrous for humanity and for the Union.”

    “Union? What Union? And who could change anything? And what the hell could saving my family have to do with this big plan you tell me about?”

    I could understand her frustration and more so her fear. She was intelligent enough to ask herself the what now? question and was waiting for the answer not daring ask it directly. I decided to wake them all up to just make her feel more comfortable, but after telling her the few facts I wanted her to know.

    “Jean, if the verdict is to put everything back in place the way it was, then you will be re-inserted into your own space and time frame exactly at the moment I pulled you out of it. You know what it means, don’t you?” I felt terrible pain saying those words. I wondered if this pain was what the humans call love but I had no way of ever really knowing. I hated seeing again those tears flooding her eyes and I felt like hugging her. I hugged her.

    She let me, then pulled gently away.

    “You are not really human, are you?” I hesitated, even though she knew the answer already, and she continued. “It means we must die, right?”

    I decided it was time for the other members of the family to wake up. Nica was the first to sit upright and after a short pause, after she looked around her at the strange surroundings, jumped to her feet and ran to her mom. Jean hugged her and kissed her forehead, then the girl’s head leaned on her shoulder. Tony rushed towards them, jumped on his sister’s knees, kissed her wetly on the cheek and started pulling her to the ball. Jean caressed his curly head.

    “Later, Tony, later... “

    I decided to help a bit and allowed a part of me to simili-appear as a little human next to the ball. Nica shuddered at the sudden apparition but Tony shrieked in delight and rushed over to the ball and his new friend. Jean pointed my way.

    “Nica, this is Oe. I think he is some kind of friend of ours.”

    The girl looked my way from the safety of her mom’s arms, then decided suddenly that it would be more appropriate for her to behave like a mature teen and extended her hand. I took it between my two hands and squeezed it reassuringly. Jean thanked me with her eyes. The girl looked at me unblinkingly and asked in a melodious voice with a slight tinge of shiver.

    “Are you our friend, Oe?” She looked again around. “Are we safe here? Doesn’t look much like our old home.” Very factual, very realistic, just the way I remembered her on earth.

    “Ladies, would you like to visit my world?”

    They looked at each other, then took each other’s hand and looked at me at the same time.

    “Yes”, said Jean “but we would like the rest of the family as well. Can you please wake them up? By the way, you said we could not survive in your world without adequate protection.”

    “I will create a window for you and move it around my world. You can walk as you watch, it will be like a stroll in a museum.” I smiled in a reassuring way, trying to calm their fears and take their minds off the question marks. I understood enough of humans to guess what happened deeper than skin level and it bothered me. Again I wondered why I felt this kind of warmth towards this bunch and especially towards the flaming head matriarchal chief of the tribe. In my world, sentiment was not a virtue and was virtually eliminated by training from inception. And again I blamed my long sojourn on their side, it started rubbing on me and it was not healthy for my future career. Hell, these humans could get under my skin (if I had skin... lol...).

    I woke up the rest of them, the twins jumped up as if they weren’t sleeping at all and started chasing each other, with the beasts running aimlessly till I got what they wanted and planted some grass and a few trees. If there was nothing much I could do, at least I could play the perfect host. After all they were probably right now being condemned by the technocrats running my world, and there was not much time left before being asked to deliver them back to the same spot in time and space where I picked them from. With clear consequences. I felt an unfamiliar revolt starting to boil inside me, but I knew there was nothing in my power to do, to change the almost certain verdict. In a sudden impulse I circled my arm around Jean and started talking. She leaned her head on my shoulder, apparently not minding that to the best of her knowledge I might in reality have scales and eat little children, and started walking. I had a small surprise for Nica, having read unashamedly her fantasies for a few months (calling it part of my job), and as she prepared to walk alongside us she felt a hard hand taking hold of her soft fingers. She almost fainted when she looked at the guy at her side (I still had some matter left in me and could easily create him) and recognized what she always knew to be a dream. Then she shot a thankful glance my way, intelligent enough to know it was an artificial creature yet excited enough to smile a real smile and blow me a kiss. She had one of those conquering smiles... pity she hadn’t used it much back home.

    Tricia and Anie stopped chasing each other and started circling us chanting “... mommy has a boyfriend... Nica has a boyfriend...” with the two dogs playfully trying to bite their heels, while the ferret climbed atop my head taking position as a live version of Dave Crockett’s head garment. We looked like a final repetition to Alice in Wonderland.

    I showed them first the valleys and the flowers. The colors of my world were so rich that for a moment even Tony stopped his interminable ball chasing and gaped in wonder. Till he lost the ball to his friend and started chasing it again. Then I made a filter to show then our three and a half sun’s, trying to tell them in the most unscientific words how a sun could be “half” by actually having one side squashed by an antigravitational field we still did not understand ourselves. Then made a switch to the green of the seas...

    “As green as your eyes...” I told Jean and added a blush to my face that I knew should have appeared there in her world... She kissed me lightly on the lips.

    “What about living creatures, intelligent creatures, animals?” she asked.

    “I am afraid you cannot see them as our living matter is most of the time in its immaterial form. Actually we are what you would call amorphous. Only rarely do we assume material form, like I do know.”

    “Do you have something like a family unit, marriage, children?”

    “Our society develops in much more complex ways than the human society. What you call children is actually the result of several ‘grownups’ merging together of common accord and splitting in ‘children’ entities. It happens rarely as the population on my world is tightly regulated. Just part of the way our civilization works.”

    “Oe!...” It was Nica calling me, and I was surprised. “Oe, do you have here something similar to what we call love?”

    The question I didn’t want to be asked. Asked innocently, with teenage charm and curiosity. The twins got their arms around me and Jean, hugging each other and looking up at me with a sparkle of expectation in their eyes.

    “Nica...” I started, and halted. The message arrived. The verdict projected itself in my mind and I guess Jean understood something was happening by the change of expression on her face. Her hand’s hold tightened perceptibly and she looked up at me, the shadows of renewed fright hidden behind her eyelashes. I squeezed her hand back in reassurance, though the verdict was without appeal. “Nica...” I continued, “yes, we do have love. And we can love more than you can imagine.”

    Jean looked at me for long moments before whispering with that enviable human softness.

    “Is it we... or I?...”

    I created a round bench and gathered all of them around me. My simili parts being there as well. I needed the full me to be able to tell them.

    “Jean, girls, you are given a choice. You can either stay here in the transit space, and live here for the rest of your natural life. Or return to your own world at the same place and time you last remember. With all relevant consequences. There is nothing I can do.” My voice was low, impersonal, aware that my words were listened to by every inhabitant of my planet. Everybody’s fate depended on the execution of the verdict, the calculations were unforgiving. The decision was unanimous. I squeezed Jean’s hand even tighter, it was her decision, she was the chief of the tribe and the responsibility was hers. Jean, I thought in silence, don’t fail your heart, Jean, don’t fail your tribe, decide on life...

    “Oe?” I heard the question in the way she called my name and looked up at me. “Oe, staying here means dying alone, right?” It was a question, yet it was more like a statement, like a recognition of the futility of any argument.

    “Yes”, I responded weakly, the tight hold never relieving its torture for a moment.

    “And going back means dying together, right?” I didn’t answer this time. I waited, hypnotized by her voice, her mouth, her moving lips. “Oe... then we go back.”


    The snap turned to thunder as the heavy beams crashed into the crumbling table top... gasps, a frightened shriek... silence...


    The Dall Herald,
    Monday, 15th

    Hurricane Mystery

    by our special correspondent: Bud Creep

    A miracle rescue was reported following the disastrous passage of hurricane Claris through the small town of Dall. Rescue workers following insistent barking sounds found a surrealistic scene mid of the remnants of a completely destroyed house. A small, mini cyclone kept flying a group of five heavy wooden beams atop a heap of rubble. The barking came from underneath the pile of rubble. The rescuers cautiously opened a passage through the piled up roof leftovers allowing a family of five and their pets get out scared but unscathed from underneath the heavy oak table they were hiding under. The moment the last of the family, the mother, got out, the mini cyclone ceased to exist and the beams crushed completely the table underneath them. If the rescue would have been late by just a few seconds...

    Scientists of the weather faculty, university of Miami, dismissed the event as statistically impossible in the absence of any documented evidence. They ascribed the story to mass hallucination resulting from massive dispersion by the storm of mushroom pores from the nearby wild growth fields, and referred any further comment to the faculty of agriculture.

    A member of the rescue team related to our correspondent an amusing event immediately following the rescue. A short cloud burst soaked everybody to the bone, with the clothes of the rescued family melting entirely and disappearing from their body, to the big embarrassment of everybody. Only the pets seemed to have kept their furs. The person reporting this event swore the last time he touched a glass of alcohol was at the age of five. We think differently, haha...

    Bud Creep, Dall




    Green... I whispered. I saw her leap from her chair to voices shouting ...Sit down... and ...Dammit... I paid for this movie...

    I pulled her back, down to her chair, one never knows with these Americans, next thing they may lynch you, lol... She pinched me so hard that I yelped with pain dragging the murderous look of a neckless black guy seated in front of me and who had to turn his whole trunk around so he could measure me better. I made him the international V sign for peace with two fingers and he responded with another international sign, much more economical in fingers usage. She convulsed slash collapsed in a hysterical fit of laughter, hardly controlling the few guttural snorts escaping unhindered her laughing muscles, dragging her even deeper inside the fit. It took her a whole of five minutes to get under control again, still shuddering from time to time like a church bell. Luckily Schwarzie was in the process of administering the bad guys a lesson they’ll never forget, and the screen’s Dolby amplifiers masked my lover’s no less thunderous bursts.

    I felt adventurous, light headed, cruel... so I whispered another Green... in her ears just as she was settling down and kept my heel strongly planted on her foot so she could not jump up. She didn’t even try to jump. She just got hold of both my ears, pulled my head towards her and started eating my mouth, lips, tongue... my lungs were burning with lack of oxygen and she didn’t give a shit about it. Finally she let me suck in wheezingly some molecules when she felt like it, following which she punished me again... my goodness, if this was what her kiss felt like how the hell was the rest of... it?...

    We succeeded to extract ourselves finally unmolested, as most of the spectators around us had fallen asleep snoring louder than the Dolby. She dragged me to her car, locked the doors from inside, and saddled me unceremoniously, not to mention unladylike pulling her narrow skirt way above modesty level. Her head turned around for a moment as she tuned the radio, then she turned back, fixing me with a gaze from which any sign of mirth had been wiped away.

    “Now tell me, and think carefully before you open your mouth, since any wrong answer will lead to a certain crushing motion that you may find very unpleasant.” Did I say no sign of mirth earlier on? I forgot to say and every sign of ready for murder was present... “Ready?”

    I was young, too young to die, my God, I knew I wanted to say No.

    “Yes”, someone said with my voice and I shuddered... dammit.

    “The color of the trees?...”

    “Green...”, hey, that was an easy one...

    “The color of emeralds?”

    “Green.” Confidence, maybe this test was not so complex after all.

    “The color of the sea?” Ahmmm... careful boy, something may get crushed here. I swallowed hard...

    “Green?...”, partly asking partly begging, you know, just in case. Nothing happened, no crush. I allowed her to lick away a few drops of sweat from my brow, knowing the nightmare was just beginning.

    “The color of my eyes?...” The cabin was dark, I could see her eyes’ spark but the color... hell... what was the color, I know I knew it, I repeated it hundreds of times and now, just now when it counted I had forgotten it... I felt a certain crushing motion... oh, a passing car’s headlights reflecting for a moment from those huge beautiful orbs...

    “Green, green...” I screamed stopping the crushing motion in mid movement and being compensated for the effort with a wet deep kiss that all but tore away my tongue. Guess she finally left it in there since I still needed it for her quiz.

    “The color of love?”

    “Green...” I was proud of myself, hey, I was getting the knack of it...

    “The shape of love?”

    “Green” I blurted without thinking... oops... I was lost... But it seemed like it was the right answer since she kept smiling happily.

    “The color of fire?”

    “Green... “ child’s play...

    “The color of the sun?”


    “The color of red, of blue, of yellow?...”

    “Green, green, green...”

    She stopped the stream. Green music, green children, green minutes... The puppy was gathering her last ounces of energy, her last waking dreams for one last question. I knew what the question was going to be, but it was her show, she should ask and I should answer. And this time the answer would not be green.

    “For how long?” she asked, and fell asleep, not wishing to hear the answer.

    “For as long as I am allowed to say I love you, kid, and not one moment less.” The answer she feared, I knew it. She feared that one moment more.



Freckles Thief

    or Synonyms

    in collection: sillies

    I kissed her fingertips. Then started counting.

    “What are you doing?” she laughed loudly.

    “Counting your freckles,” I answered with half of my mind, the other half counting on and the third half loving her.

    “Three halves?” she laughed again, “That does not make sense...”

    “Hey, you’re not supposed to read my thoughts. Three halves of mind is what I need to love you. And besides, you are supposed to ask me about the senselessness of counting your freckles not some irrelevant mathematical queries.” I reached seven hundred eighty nine and was hardly beyond her left wrist’s line. It took me half an hour, having lost count twice and having had to restart as many times. “And if you keep interrupting me I will never finish.” I eyed her obliquely with the non counting half of my mind. “Do you really read my mind?” I thought thirty eight and waited.

    “Silly man, of course I don’t read your mind. Otherwise why would I ask so many questions?” Then she added “What is thirty eight?”

    Having thus received confirmation to what I knew already, I did not bother to answer. I marked carefully the spot I reached, then rushed to a local flowers shop and bought her a huge bouquet of red roses mixed with yellow daisies, laid it in her lap after kissing her upper lip, then kissed her lower lip after laying it in her lap, then continued counting.

    “You are nuts,” she giggled. Then buried her head in the flowers, her shoulders shaking convulsively.

    “Why are you crying?” I asked.

    “I am laughing, silly...”

    Well, that at least made some sense. Took me some time to reach her elbow, pushed the shirt’s sleeve up and continued. She started whistling. Then she started singing. Then she took the daisies and started pulling the petals and dropping them on her freckles. Too late, the count was solidly on and there was no way for me to miss it again. No celestial power would prevent me from finishing my mission. I was not surprised anymore when she said...

    “Do you really think that any celestial power cares about how many freckles I have and how many daisy petals there are in this bouquet? Eight hundred twelve of them.” Having had the petals counted myself, I knew she was wrong. There were only eight hundred eleven, the one missing petal stored underneath my skin inside a cut against my second rib bottom left of my chest. I allowed myself a smirk of superiority.

    “I love you,” I said. I counted her upper arm, then her shoulder, moving on to the right shoulder while she was sleeping and finishing with the right hand’s fingers just as she was waking up, stretching lazily. I was grateful for her nap, otherwise I may have had to start again. “I love you,” I repeated only to ensure she remembered the statement, made love to her before she brushed her teeth, and followed her in the shower counting now the freckles on her chest and breasts.

    “They will have to redefine loony for you,” I heard her gurgling voice braving the cascading hot water, as I examined minutiously every other piece of skin, inclusive the soles of her feet, making sure I did not miss any spot. Then I smacked her bottom hard and left her in the care of the shower gods, hoping they are all of female gender, changed my soaked garments and stretched on the bed myself. I took a writing pad and started writing. “What are you writing there?” she asked five minutes later, as her body’s dripping flesh appeared in the bathroom’s door rubbing itself vigorously with a huge towel.

    I looked up from the half filled page.

    “Other synonyms. You used already silly, nuts, loony... I am ensuring you have another supply for later usage.”

    She hit me over the head with a wet bar of soap, kissed me deeply, then moaned happily as I started rubbing dryness into her. I sheathed her into a pair of short soft cotton pajama pants, and then a mismatching pajama shirt feeling like the kingpin of pajama fashion and design. I dropped design from my mind - after all I was using ready made materials. Then heard her moaning protest and added design back to my mind, happily yapping at the sharp pinch of appreciation her fingers left on my butt.

    Silly butt...” ...so dull and uninnovative, but what could you expect from a woman in love?... I dared these blasphemous thoughts while keeping a safe distance between the softest part of my lower anatomy and the probing twangs.

    Witch...” I retorted with a vengeance, and as the groping finger tips seemed to have tired from looking for me I crawled back onto the bed, opened the top of her pajama shirt I so carefully buttoned earlier on, touched with my left index finger the flesh just below the right shoulder, then buttoned it back and covered her with a blanket up to her chin. She sneaked a hand out, picked up my list and read it intently.

    Balmy...” she looked up at me for approval of choice, and as I radiated with puppy glee she continued sleepily... “...lover, what in hell are you doing?”

    I looked at her pensively, caressing her left eyebrow and paying full attention to do it with my right index finger. Then lifted my shirt and placed the left index on the skin underneath my left nipple, after which I let the shirt fall down in place.

    “I don’t know what plans they have for me there...” and as she lifted her eyebrows I added hastily to prevent misinterpretation...”...in hell, I mean. After all they have an endless supply of lovers.” And as the corners of her mouth started lifting towards her lifted eyebrows, I continued. “On the other hand - here, what I did was steal one of your freckles.”

    She let the bells ring loudly, and after a few repeated convulsions was able to speak again. I could hardly understand her words as she kept her lips crushed into mine and tried talking at the same time. Now who is the silly here?... was the thought pulling my ear as I felt myself glowing warmly inside.

    “And how and why and what for on earth...” I heard the emphasis on earth “...would you steal one of my freckles?” Her lips did not release mine, neither were mine eager in any way to regain their freedom. So I had to talk straight into her mouth hoping her ears would pick up my mumble through her skull bone’s reflections.

    “I simply picked one with my finger tip and transfered it to my skin. You saw me doing it.”

    “Are you sure you succeeded to take it?...” I thought she was trying to laugh, or maybe she was trying no to laugh. I any case it was something to do with laughter.

    “Yes, I am. Tell me a number, how many freckles do you have on your skin?”

    She quoted a number, then reluctantly let go of my mouth as I stretched over to the night table and picked up a sheet of paper I used earlier on, showing it to her. It had on it the number she quoted, minus one. She frowned slightly, still smiling big.

    “Cheap trick...”

    “And how many freckles do I have?” I continued my third degree interrogation, as she leaned on the wall behind the bed and took my head in her lap stroking my forehead.

    “I don’t know... whatever it was plus one?”

    I turned over the sheet of paper and showed her what was written there, which was simply plus one.

    “I don’t know either, but now I have whatever there was plus one.”

    I saw her lower lip pouting slightly, her brains trying to gather some more information before any additional statement was made. I showed her the list of synonyms again, waiting for her to make a choice.

    “Tell me my sweet... ahmm...” she scanned the list... “...screwball. I was ready to give you my heart, I was ready to give you my life. Why would you commit such a preposterous ignoble unruly act as stealing one of my freckles and assuming its identity on your own body?” There was no mirth, no mockery, no trace of irony in the question as those bottomless pits of emotion bored deeply into my cringing soul awaiting the only answer that would make sense. An answer that only a silly, nuts, loony, balmy, screwball, and so on lover would possess and be able to deliver. And I better do my delivery good. And win life or lose all I have.

    She waited. I shivered, averting my eyes. I answered.

    “I don’t know,” I said, though she may have known the answer by now, as she seemed to have been reading every letter written on my mind till this moment. It was easier for her, she knew while I had to make choices. And I had to make the right choice or forever lose her trust. “Probably because I wanted to have something that no one else had before me. Probably because if I took your heart you may have died. Probably to see if you trust my word. Probably because I am...” it was my turn to look at the list and scan the well defined synonyms...”... so friggin’ in love with you.”

    She snatched the list from my hand and I saw her eyes reading it carefully three times, trying to make up her mind if I was cheating or simply creative. Then she lifted my shirt and looked underneath my left nipple, touching the skin lightly with her left index. She caught the list between her teeth and pulled at it with her right hand tearing it in two asymmetrical pieces. The torn pieces floated to the floor, her left index never for a second leaving contact with my skin. This time I did not avert my eyes. She knew, even if I did not know, she knew it so clearly that she could not postpone the moment of decision anymore. She simply had to decide. She decided. She lifted her fingertip from my skin and showed it to me. Blank. I smiled. Her smile roared making mine hide in embarrassed insignificance.

    “Yes, definitely a man in love.” And she kissed me.

    I kept my eyes closed, knowing I won. She was starting her own synonyms list, adding forgotten words, discarding part of the old definitions, creating new ones. I knew it was going to become a long list. After all, now we had a lifetime to create them.



Smile, Silly Butt

    in collection: sillies

    I bought a stethoscope and tried to listen to my heart. I was no doctor in medicine and not even a vet, for that matter, but I assumed that all you had to do was plug the stereo thing in your ears, put the cold... brrrrr... piece of metal somewhere next to your nipple, and listen to whatever happens there. I bought a second hand one from a jewelry store. They claimed it was used to save at least one woman from fainting after shown the beauty of diamonds, and three husbands from dying after shown the number of zeros before the decimal point, ha-ha... said the seller. Then said seller tried to sneak in a special deal ring at only four grand’s, ...a specials... today only since we are renewing our stock... she said bending so low that her cleavage showed all the way down to her belly button and maybe even lower. But after having me count the last ten dollars of the fifteen for the stethoscope in dimes, plus a few single cents, she moved her attention elsewhere. If looks could murder I wouldn’t be writing this story by now.

    I hopped on one leg all the way home, happy as a newborn (assuming they are happy). My car was on its last fuel drops and I had to save these till I won the lottery, which I knew was going to happen any time soon. I rushed upstairs, pulled off hastily the t-shirt, cleaned the ear pieces with whisky and put a match to them for a few seconds... barely saving the plastic from meltdown annihilation, then plugged them all the way in up to my eardrums. Then I touched the other end to my heart and... listened.

    Well, I am certainly no musician but I would not need a musician’s ear to understand that there was something wrong with the sound arrangements. There were no thumps, no bumps, and not even the stupid thunderstorm that stupid poets use to describe this biological functionality which seemed to be disfunctioning in my case. What I heard was... screeches. I jumped scared, tearing the instrument from my ears and almost losing an earlobe in the process. I looked at it lying threateningly like a snake on the floor, its heinous Hydra head flat nosed and conically shaped, its forked tails curved inside ready to bite my... things... Maybe I should return it to the shop, the bastards sold me a second hand good for nothing piece of iron... I thought bitterly recounting the dimes in my mind’s eye. Then I remembered the almost murder and decided to give up on any return attempts.

    I took a few cotton picks from the bathroom cabinet, made sure they were not used more than two times on any previous occasion (I developed a special notching system on the thin stick to keep track), and carefully dug into my ears cleaning them to the best that can be cleaned by my unprofessional efforts. Then, gently and carefully, picked the “snake” from the floor and tried again... no change. The same screeching noises I heard years ago as a kid, when slithering my way into the church’s graveyard at midnight to look around for skulls. This was the rusty gate’s noise, slow on my way in and fast on my way out chased by an enraged alley cat (probably looking for skulls too).

    I panicked, something was wrong with my heart, and clearly it was not to be overlooked. I looked at my face in the window pane, the mirror having been impounded by the city’s police until such time as I have paid my traffic offenses, and whispered to myself... you miss her, don’t you?... Then I took out the old fashioned laptop from underneath that loose tile underneath the bed’s rear right leg where I hid it from eventual duty collectors, hooked it up to the telephone which was the only facility still working in the chamber (through the neighbor’s wireless network, and he never knew...) and started typing.

    my lover,

    melancholy, cruel sun,
    touch me not until I’m done,
    stay your cool and dark abyss,
    oh, I miss her, oh I miss...

    I typed and re-typed five times, the cheap wobbly keyboard jumping all over the page and printing ideas of its own. I was afraid to lose the words till I would finally have it right, my mind was acting in ways unknown at times and once I got the words on paper first time it was right. If I tried a second time it came out like a Chinese restaurant’s menu, the Chinese portion of it. I then read it five times more and pushed the Send button. Then went to bed, making sure there was a chair underneath my door knob. I did not want to lose my last pair of shoes to some hobo, mainly the one I stole them from. I didn’t remember dreaming, I did remember dreaming of her. Every night I dreamt of her. Each and every night.

    I woke up uncounted hours later at the unmistakable beep of you’ve got mail, tripped on my shoes... aha... no one stole them..., narrowly missed falling out the window and pushed the Open button. As my bleary eyes hardly could focus on the screen I went to the bathroom and dipped two fingers in cold water rubbing gently against my eyelids... much better. I returned to the computer, sat cross legged in front of it (had only one chair left, the other was impounded) and allowed myself to sink in love. I sunk in love. Then started looking around, at first incredulity setting in, then frustration, finally I ended up reading it seventeen times... no, cannot be, she forgot it... no... Not that I knew what she forgot, but something had the wrong feel to it. I wanted to paint a sad smiley on my face and wear it next day to work, but I was afraid of the security guard who once almost broke my neck in a double Nelson stranglehold when I arrived there with two thick red lines painted from my nostrils down to my chin. Little helped the fact that I told him I was kicked by a horse in my face... yeah... a horse... family, huh?...

    I took the stethoscope and listened... screech... screech... yeah, I knew and she knew, my heart needed some oiling and she loved me so much that she... missed the hinges.

    Carefully, I started typing again.

    my lover,

    melancholy’s single child
    took my hand and asked beguiled...
    why your eye is painted sad?
    do you miss her, foster dad?

    This time I did not check it for any literacy or harmony or typography... I just sent it. After all, poetry was not my life. She was. And she would run it through the spell checker for me and only then read it. A moment of panic... I scanned the text with my eyes, oouf... thank God, I did not type him instead of her. Though she would probably have corrected such an error herself... or would she?... Checked the chair under the door knob, went for a short pee and opened the water crane listening with satisfaction to the trains rushing through the piping and knowing that following day I would get another letter of complaint from my neighbor’s bald lawyer. It helped grow my used stamps collection. Then I dropped on the bed and fell asleep immediately. I was beat with screech worry and also eager to dream of her again, both adding up to my fatigue and sleepiness. This past afternoon I had fallen asleep at my desk at lunch time... luckily I could justify it with intelligent words of the type... this is my break so I do what I want... Still, I saw my boss take his red pen, lick it with his tongue, and make one big X in some notebook. The analphabet, all he knew was X...

    I woke up with a start, did not hear any beep, any noise, instincts told me there must have been something in. As I was reaching a stage in my dream where she was telling me ...if I have to choose between you two, I choose... him... pointing to a Disney stuffed Tigger wagging his tail, you can imagine I also wished myself awake at that moment... ridiculous, I kept mumbling to myself, unconvinced, she wouldn’t do such a thing... and I pushed the Open button. Love, oh, love, oh, love... so much love, so much love, yet... something was still amiss, something in the wording, in the length, why could I not put my finger on it and get it done with. Frustration, which lingered from my earlier attempt, just got stronger and impatience nastier. I took the stethoscope to get scientific medical confirmation to my corollary (wow, at times I surprised myself with some words) and instead of pushing it into my ears and risk abrasion, I approached the earpieces to the laptops’ mike, turned up the volume to the maximum, and listened to my heart again. This time he thumped, but I mean he really thumped with a shoe or a ten pounds hammer on the wall, my neighbor I mean. I think I discerned some four letter words in his muffled curses as well, like love, or dear, so I shouted a few love words back and focused on my heart. Screech... screech...

    I was desperate, disillusioned, pissed off... piss!... I shouted to my neighbor above the colossal computer din, knowing he would like a new four lettered one to his incomplete collection. I dropped the stethoscope on the bed, not afraid of it anymore, and sat at the keyboard... she loves me, she loves me not... one last try.

    my lover,

    melancholy found a nest
    round that third rib in my chest,
    need one flower in my life,
    miss you wife, oh, miss you wife...

    I did not go to sleep anymore. I simply waited in front of the machine, playing the odds in my mind that she finally was fully back, her fire... fire!... I shouted for my neighbor’s sake even though I could clearly hear his snores. I heard a siren turning the corner into my street... my, my, they are too fast... I thought, hoping against hope that they did not come because of my shouting. They passed by, thank God... I lost my train of thought, not caring too much, and started scribbling something on a piece of paper. Sometimes I preferred paper to screens, paper has a mortality to it, like us...

    The computer was silent. I wondered how many times she checked her email per day, her day, my night, was there any chance I would get one more mail today, the mail? Or none. Or a beautiful love letter. No, I do not want a love letter, I thought,, what do I want actually? I looked at the piece of paper in my hands, hoping my subconscience may have helped me out, all I could see were words of the type eeny-meeny... I was about to start chewing it after dipping it in the hot mustard contained in the hundreds of small bags I pocketed from the office’s cantina, when that distinct beep tickled my ear... beep... just 2k size... not a good omen...

    I did not wait, I am impatient by nature, I spread the mustard baggies around me ready to stomp on them if needed, got to the screen thumbs inside my pj’s waistline imagining myself Gary Cooper facing the villains, and pushed the button. I blinked several times reading and re-reading, then smeared some mustard on my finger, sucked it to justify the tears and then read it again. Finally I picked up the stethoscope, plugged it in my ears and touched my chest with its cold end. Hey, who said thump-thump-thump? I lay on my back on the bed, some loose springs needling my skin, closed my eyes, and listened. I wish I was a poet, I thought. Only a poet could listen to this kind of music and translate it into words for others to hear it. Was it the sound of icebergs floating? Was it the sound of beetles waking up? Was it the sound of Tigger jumping, Elvis singing Blue Hawaii, Pepsi bubbling, ferrets biting, desert blooming? Was it the sound of love, of her, of... you?

    I kept the stethoscope to my skin, fixed it in place with sticky tape, firmly determined to go to work with its earpieces in my ears and spray the guard with mustard in the eye if necessary. Then went back to the screen, sat in front of it, and absorbed repeatedly the words printed there, by whispering them again and again...

    smile, silly butt...

    I smiled, oh, I smiled...


    Next day I gave back the hobo his shoes, ran all the way to the office bare footed with the hobo on my trail wishing I was a fairy, sprayed the guard with mustard in the eye, and sat at my desk smiling silly. I guess they would have to get the fire brigade next, I smiled inside, feeling the flames slowly exit my heart and encompass my body...



Green, Two

    Hiding in the shadows, dreaming, your green eyes shining,

    The stormy green of cloud,

    The sparkling green of sea,

    The enflaming green of sun...

    She squirmed in my arms.

    “Hey, you’ve got your colors all mixed up”, she laughed and kissed me.

    “No, not on this world.”

    She frowned.

    “Which world?”

    “The world I started painting around you.”

    “So, first the sun is green, now you’re painting worlds. You must be crazy.”

    “Wrong. I am crazy!”

    “Am I in danger of any kind?” playing with the hair on my chest.

    “Yes, of mothering little green aliens.”


    “Are you a Martian?”

    “I could have been. I chose not to. Martians are red. I chose earthling. Earthlings are green.”

    “Hey, I am not green.” She moved from lying to kneeling, and pushed her breasts up looking at them pensively. “I am pinkish. My nipples are red.” She pinched my underdeveloped manly nipples. “So are yours.”

    I pushed her on her back and started running my index finger from the side of her left eye, down her cheek, neck, round her breast, hip, outer thigh, little toe. Finished one stroke, then started a second one left of the first stroke.

    “What are you doing?” she asked, halting her purring for a few seconds.

    “Painting you green.”

    “You said you were going to paint the world.”

    “You are the world,” I answered, third stroke well on its way.

    “Make love to me,” she begged.

    “I will. But first I have to finish my creation.”

    “You don’t have to. I love a mix of colors. And besides, it will take you years to paint everything green. We don’t have that much time.”

    I smiled, my finger on its ninth stroke path, starting at the middle of her forehead, over her nose, mid of her mouth ...she tried to bite but was too lazy to move faster... moving on, between her breasts, belly button... the rest of the journey was clear...

    “Paint me eternity,” she shivered.

    “Green?” I asked.

    “Starry,” she answered.

    I started touching the stars, turning them on one by one. I hesitated... should I turn on the moon as well? Then I decided. I turned on the sun.

    “You should not have done it...” she whispered, “I am burning...”

    I leaned over, my lips brushing against her eyelids.

    “You asked for eternity,” I whispered back. “This is the only eternity I have.”




    “There is hell.”

    “There is hell.”

    Finally we agreed on something. We had earlier on that evening some fights over politics, we kept it civil but it was nearing the phase of throwing food at each other, so we skillfully changed the subject. Well, not skillfully enough since the next subject touched was religion and fast enough we were happy they were using plastic knives at the joint we stopped at, for lunch. Not that we were going to stab each other but we tried to cut pieces of the plastic table to throw across. We eyed each other carefully, tried the next one which was music preferences... disaster... and finally reached the one we both agreed on.

    “There is hell.”

    I was the first to say it and she immediately agreed. Of course, I wasn’t so innocent when saying it, I knew there was going to be immediate acceptance and I needed it to restore some of the peace at the table. After all we were both hungry, the food was getting cold and there was absolutely no chance to get another set of plastic knives if we “killed” the first one. She looked at me seriously, then suddenly smiled, nicked the back of my hand with the plastic fork and leaned over for a fast kiss. It was more like a bite, which augured well for the rest of the evening. I was forgiven for not agreeing earlier on and for mentioning hell. After all she was just too familiar with it and glad I accepted it as a fact.

    I watched as she started wolfing down the food, oblivious to the fact that the French fries have gone limp and the lettuce started getting a darkish color. I knew all about her hell, it took some time to get it all out of her but once started she didn’t stop. And I didn’t dare stop the flow, both of us entranced in a different kind of pain - she of remembering, I of feeling it through her words and shivering uncontrollably. It took me a full night to regain full control of my senses, while she seemed to control hers admirably. It had nothing with getting used to pain, one does not get used to pain. It had to do with deciding that life had to be lived and was worth living. And she was living it, proudly, getting her strength from her painful memories, weighing them against the pleasant ones and ensuring that the balance favors the last. Life would be sad without sad memories I mused philosophically. We never mentioned heaven, she did not believe in heaven.

    “There must be a balance,” I said, taking my first bite and watching her carefully. She raised her head towards me, looking me kind of in a pitiful manner and kept munching, wearing a great smile on her face and shaking her head from side to side. “There are many roads to hell,” I said, “for some it is chosen, some choose it themselves. Take for example a 9mm round hole. If a guy chooses such a small opening to squeeze his way inside then I guess he gets a place of honor and the right to choose his own fire pit.”

    “And some choose to enter it via the main gate, following a highway to hell...” she continued my reasoning with a food full mouth, smiling all the time and waiting to catch me in some logical paradox corner. “I know the signposts there, I visited them several times, I could get a job as a certified guide. But nowhere did I see a junction post signed heaven. And I was looking intently.”

    I dropped my fork, and took out a piece of paper from my pocket, a pen, and started scribbling. I stopped from time to time, took a bite and looked towards her unseeing, then continued scribbling. It wasn’t easy and she did not interrupt me. She knew I was doing something I considered important and she liked watching me “create”. After all, that was the way she did it herself so it was like watching herself in the mirror. I didn’t even feel time passing and she refused to remind me, sipping on her cold drink and from time to time trying to peek at my scribbling. It was useless, even I hardly could read my handwriting, and this time it was full of words, letters, tens of scratch lines.

    “Are you sure you write something that makes sense?” she finally asked, and I almost jumped at hearing her voice. My concentration was intense and the day’s light started dimming in the windows. “Do you know you are at it for about two hours already, and all you’ve done is write and erase ten’s of words? Doesn’t look like a poem to me. And neither like a story.”

    “You are right,” I answered, getting a new page from underneath the pile and flattening it on the surface. Then I started copying the written text in a cleaner manner. “It is a riddle.”

    “A riddle? Since when do you write riddles? I thought you said riddles are for intellectuals, not for writers.”

    “Well, this time it is for writers, for two of them. I to write it and you to read it. It is a description of the way to heaven. As I said, there are many roads to hell. But only one to heaven. I want to prove to you that heaven exists and you simply forgot it.”

    “You mean I know the way and forgot it?”

    “I mean you are on the way and forgot it.”

    “And your riddle will show me the way?”

    “My riddle will open your eyes.”

    She looked at me intensely, trying to penetrate my mind, my thoughts, knowing there was no way to do it yet putting in the effort nevertheless. A soft blush started creeping in her cheeks, not all of it due to the warmth in the small snack bar. We were alone, the last customers. The owner was dozing on a high chair behind the counter, having given up his experimental body language that tried to indicate to us that it was time to leave. I had no intention to leave before I finished my task. So he drank some of his own beer and fell asleep. I pushed the piece of paper towards her.

    “And what if I do not solve your riddle?” she asked, tense, not yet looking down at my copied piece of kinder then usual handwriting.

    “You will,” I said, with no hesitation. “Because there is a balance. There is heaven. All I am doing is reminding you of it.”

    “So why a riddle? Why not tell me straight away?”

    “Because then it will be my saying. I want you to find it yourself. Remember, you are a guide on those roads. You know them much better than I do. All you have to do is accept to remember the details.”

    We left, the snack bar owner almost falling off his high stool when he heard the door opening, then he rushed and locked it behind us before we had a chance to change our minds. She let me drive, concentrating on the piece of paper under the pale light of the car’s overhead lamp. I watched her from the corner of my eye, frowning, looking on the back of the paper to see if there was more, then looking again at the text not so sure how to deal with it. I did not help. She will find it, I thought, she has to.

    I walked the lane, trying to find sign posts to my destination. I did not believe in angels, I did not believe in demons, yet I was wary of the dark spots along the way. Here and there shrubs withered by the scorching heat were cringing away from me as I moved on. I was not afraid, I recollected passages through this same way on earlier occasions, I waited for “it” to happen, then to end, and then be shoved out of “here” until next time. Will there always be a next time? Only... something looked different for this trip, there was no grey in the air, I looked up and was surprised to see a clear, cloudless blue watching down on me as if encouraging me to go on find my way, find the right way.

    I saw it, the signpost I missed in all my previous visits, how come I missed it, was it there all the time and I simply refused to look up at the right moment? “Flowers Lane”. I took the turn and entered it.

    Flowers Lane? It did not look much like a flowers lane to me. True - it was green, carefully cared for by an invisible hand, clean and groomed and shining with warm light. But all I could see were just a few flowers along the road, far away from each other, almost scattered randomly, were these flowers the reason this was called Flowers Lane? I approached the first one, the closer I was getting the more I felt my heart beating, why did my heart beat so wildly I asked myself? After all it was just a flower. It was at the height of its ripening season, bees busy collecting its nectar on wings and rushing away to unknown destinations, butterflies fighting for a place of honor inside its petals’ wonder, a sense of familiarity about it... I looked at the name, it was written on a small metal plate stuck in the ground next to it... “Jet Isle As June”... I’ve never heard of this sort before, was I supposed to recognize it? I moved further along the path, a few steps further a blue flower and a red flower growing side by side seemed to wink at me and call me names, petals fluttering in the wind and changing hue every second, was I imagining? What kind of flowers could be called “Oh Last Paean Bar” and “Aleph Bat Or Sana”. Suddenly I started feeling inexplicably well, light hearted, the fragrance of those flowers getting to my head, the next one called “Aw Team Hunt East” dared touch my outstretched hand and I felt the warmth of love streaming both ways like a raging river... are there more? Oh, I cried in delight as I approached the smallest of them all, just an opening bud, sparkling in morning’s dew and almost gurgling with delight, could such a small flower bearing such a complicated name as “Hauteur Ivies Lair Apace” make me feel as if I was getting reborn through my sensing of its joy?

    I saw the far away door. Separated, far away. I saw it and did not dare approach it, look behind it, access denied - I knew. I stood up and took a long breath. It was my decision to turn around and approach, turn around and look, turn around and believe. Or leave and never come this way again. I decided. I turned around. I knew what it was that I was seeing. The other part of heaven. Behind a gate. Separated by gates but not by senses. And at that moment I knew heaven existed, I knew one day we would meet, I knew one day I would touch the last of the flowers on my private Flowers Lane. I cried, I promised... my dear “Jump Chaise Rose” now I know where I am, now I know what I am visiting. Yes, there is heaven, now I believe. And it never ends. Eternal.

    I did not want her to cry. I knew she would. I knew she would the moment she understood the riddle, I had no doubts she would. I stopped the car at the road side and let her cry. Then she wiped her eyes, asked for my pencil and scribbled on the back of the paper: Juliet Jenessa, Panthea Rosalba, Amalthea Speranza, Matthew Antaeus, Auralee Virtue Casiphia, Perseus Joachim may he rest in peace. My flowers. My children. Then she looked at me with happiness shining in those clouded eyes and touched my cheek with her finger bringing it back to her lips.

    “Yes, you were right. Heaven exists. Thank you for reminding me.”




    I never knew it until it was too late. I was a writer and writers were supposed to be clever, to know better. But I didn’t. Proves to you what a lousy writer I must have been all along, not to mention the real value of the pretence masked as glory I was bathing in. Didn’t admit the facts until this very moment; well, it is never too late to make corrections to one’s opinion of self, correct? Especially if put in writing so as to bear witness to the fact.

    My friends, dear readers, much respected critics - I hereby declare that fairies exist. I met one. I loved one. I lost one. Thus I know what no other human does and if my present status of advanced insanity should be accepted as proof to anything, then let it be accepted as proof to this very fact. I am now way beyond, living in the eluding moments of lingering thereafter and fading nevermore, and all I can do is either cry myself to death, or tell the story so others will not repeat my mistake. I choose to do... both. After all, as many generations of illustrious pen pushers said before me - I... am only human.


    I woke up, curled, shivering. A strange smell lingered in the room, a mix of soap, and old wood and... woman. I felt disoriented for a short moment, the short slivers of dreams that permeated my sleep and kept my body tossing inside the sweaty bed sheets having induced a state of hallucination over my mind. Did it happen? Was this tune that kept repeating itself in my head a memory, an invitation?

    The waking clock buzz sounded almost immediately after, and I cursed my mind’s biological clock that woke me up in the middle of the dream just because it wanted to beat its mechanical brother in their continuous effort to control my life. I hit the mechanical button savagely, wishing I could have done the same with its biological counterpart and dragged my feet to the bathroom, yawning luxuriously. I showered in a hot, steaming stream, feeling reality soaking in industriously via my opening pores, dried myself with the towel still carrying traces of humidity from last night, shaved, and returned to the bedroom to pick up a fresh underwear set.

    “Hi...” she mumbled, eyes half closed as she passed me for her turn to the bathroom, stopped for an eyes closed wet and deep kiss, then continued on her way. I remembered to close my mouth and start shivering just when I felt liquid, probably pertaining to me, start drooling down my chin from my open mouth. I didn’t yet move, and tried the trick widely quoted in books - pinched myself just to ensure I was not dreaming. Well, it hurt like hell but I knew I must have been dreaming. I needed another test, more reliable... no, what the hell another test, I knew I was not dreaming. Have I been so drunk last night that I brought this woman back with me and did not remember it? No chance there either, as last night I came straight home from work and the last thing I drank before going to bed was a cup of hot, green tea. Food poisoning?

    The bathroom door was open. I decided that if I spent the night with this stranger then there were not many untold secretes between us. Or visual ones, for that matter. I pulled on hastily a pair of briefs, followed her to the bathroom and pulled the plastic curtain aside. Hot water was pouring over a godly figure, sunset red hair hanging over firm small breasts and guiding the cascading fury down along its knee length smoothness, curved eyelashes holding tiny rainbows between each pair of short hair ends dressing festively rosy eyelids pulled protectively over forest green eyes... Forest green?... I suddenly caught myself thinking, how the hell do I know of forest green? I kept looking, hypnotized by those humming lips carrying a short slash on the lower one, tiny drops of red pushing their way lazily out to be washed away by the incandescent torrent. The red stain at the side of my mouth... I remembered in a flash that I wondered, while I was shaving, where did it come from. I started shivering again.

    She closed the tap, groping blindly for a towel and I hurried to handle her a dry one. Then she opened... of course... forest green eyes and started drying herself.

    “Who are you?” I finally dared to ask, not waiting for her to finish.

    “You don’t remember me, do you?” she smiled.

    “No, I don’t. Tell me.”

    “Great, everything just as they said it would be.” She got out of the bathroom, her body covering itself in one smooth movement... I gasped... with a pink t-shirt, a pair of faded jeans and white tennis socks, passed behind me patting my butt and went to sit before the mirror. There she started brushing her hair in long, slow strokes. “Some things I hate doing so I get them done for me, like dressing. Some I love, so I do myself, like brushing my hair. Mind helping me?” She handed me the brush. I took it without thinking and started brushing the long, unending strands of hair. I could not talk for a few minutes, and it seemed like she did not want to talk at all, eyes closed and a purring sound escaping her throat.

    “What was that?” I finally blurted, my voice sounding like a frog just out of kindergarten. “What kind of a trick was that?”

    “What trick was what?... oh, the dressing trick. Come here.” She beckoned me with her little finger and I obeyed moving in front of her. She took my hand, threw the brush on the bed and pulled me down to sit on her knees. I felt ridiculous but did not dare object. “Every day the same question...” she rubbed noses, kissed me lightly then floated over to the bed where I found myself seated by her side. She turned on the TV with the remote control. “I hate TV,” she giggled, “but it keeps the neighbours from listening in... not that they could, actually...” She chose a sales channel, hooked her arm into mine and let her cheek lean on my shoulder. “I still have one year to graduation, therefore I am not perfect yet. You were not supposed to wake up before I left. And every day I have to repeat my story. But it is fine, I do not mind it. I love you, you know that, don’t you?”

    I felt somewhere between boiling and dying and running away from this wacko and her tricks or whatever’s.

    “Every day? Love you? What is going on here in God’s name?” My heart was pounding wildly, my thoughts rushing like tiny trapped animals inside my skull’s cage, her touch was melting me, her fragrance devastatingly invading my nostrils... Against any logic, against my own will, I started stroking her hair with my fingers.

    “You cannot resist, I know. I could not resist either. You are an adult, a mature man. You are a writer. You wrote about me. I am almost a fairy. I reached a stage where I was allowed to choose which wish to follow. Everyone else chose to follow a non human wish. I am the first one in many generations to follow a human wish, even though my teachers warned me bitterly against it. I don’t know why they warned me. I don’t know why I chose your wishes. Maybe your words were just what I was waiting to hear from the moment I was born? I came over. I transformed. I am your fairy. We are in love.”

    Insanity was the only explanation. Or dream. Both seemed to be excluded. I waited for her to continue, and as it seemed that she had no intention to do so, I tried to goad her into it.

    “Tell me, please, I do not remember a thing. What is this all about? It looks insane, is it?” The fact that the clock on the wall did not move at all since the moment I first saw her did not register as curious to me. Probably the battery is dead, I thought, knowing that I lied to myself. “Is it a dream?”

    She pinched me hard and I yelped.

    “See? No dream...” she laughed, and laid one leg over mine. God knows I had no intention to run away, but maybe she was not so sure. “You were my graduation assignment. My final thesis, a one year long research on a subject of our choice. I fell in love with my assignment...” and she exploded in a crystalline laughter that penetrated my senses like the music of creation.

    “So you are some kind of sorceress? I don’t believe in all this hocus-pocus.”

    “You saw how fast I dressed, didn’t you?”

    “Illusion, drugs...” and I kept stroking her hair, letting my fingers wander from time to time over the visible tips of her breasts. She shivered with pleasure.

    “We are watching this world through senses alien to you, we do not live in it unless if by choice, like I am doing now. I am what you would call a fairy, though your human perception of a fairy is far different from reality. My world has different rules, different senses. Some of them are common to both worlds. Like love.”

    “And would you, a fairy, fall in love with me, a human? And why don’t I remember a thing? And how old are you?” I insisted logically, yet feeling that I started losing ground extremely fast. Maybe it was a dream after all and even the pinching was part of it? Something was bubbling inside my chest, a softness, a care, a desire... hey, drugs induced addiction, I heard a voice screaming in my head, while another voice kept begging me to listen, to let go, to give in... “How long does this story go on?” I finally asked, pure curiosity playing as much a role here as willingness to know.

    “Five months.” I almost choked swallowing my tongue. Incredulity seeping in at an accelerated pace, a laughter building itself up inside me, about to burst... Before I had any chance to explode noisily and break whatever abracadabra was at play, she turned towards me and touched her index finger to my left eye. I froze. I remembered.

    Scenes started rushing through my mind, the first “casual” encounter when I thought that I picked her up when it was actually the other way around, the few dance outings, my growing desire for her presence and the touch of her hand, my awkward invitation that she comes to my place, that first night when we let fire control our senses with incendiary results same as we did every following night with no exception... and love, my God, so much love, where did this huge ocean of sensations hide when I was not remembering. Because I could not remember... not remembering...

    I grabbed her and rolled her over my belly and kissed her savagely.

    “How old are you?” I asked her, seemed I could remember everything else except for her age.

    “Hey, I am getting better,” she smiled, content to lie cuddled over my body and twining her fingers in mine. “Soon we will not have these morning discussions anymore, because I will make you forget more things for longer periods, till we will be perfect. I am seventeen, by the way you count years, I am much older by the way we develop in my world. But you would not understand, so I will not explain. Does it matter? You know you love me.”

    “I know I love you. But why do I have to forget every time? Did you explain it to me already?”

    “I did. And every time I do, I am scared of the possible consequences, of a mistake, of forgetting to erase it from your mind and losing you.”

    “Losing me?...” I repeated mindlessly, “... losing me when I burn for you like a torch fed by earth’s glowing entrails?”

    She kissed my finger tips, guided her hand to my mouth asking for a return of favor, giggled loudly and started whispering. I didn’t know if she was telling me so I knew or telling me so I didn’t hear. But I did hear.

    “My teachers warned me of the dangers of following a human wish. Once in our ancient history it happened already. Our world was almost lost because of a male fairy disclosing a few spells to a human lover. It almost led to an invasion. They were both put to death, the first time ever that a death decree was pronounced in our world. It lies like a dark stain forever in our race’s collective memory. So I must make you forget every time I leave you, it was the condition to having this assignment accepted. Or never be allowed. I had to agree, I fell in love so desperately with your words that I had to come over...” Silence. “...or die. They accepted it because it was true. They did not want to have another fairy death on our world’s conscience. Do you know now how deeply I love you?”

    I hugged her with inhuman strength. I knew how much I loved her, I knew the desperation in my hold, the pain in the wait for the one day when we would be able to carry out this love in the open, make it real, unforgettable. Would we ever?...

    “In a whole world of fairies, how come just one fell for a human?”

    “A simple statistical circumstance, a coincidence, even in my world statistics play a role. I happened to read your fairy wishing words in one of the books brought over to my school by one of our cross travellers. And only later it was found out that I was a mutant, otherwise I would not have been allowed. A mutant, a fairy able to fall in love with a human. I am probably the only one left in my entire world.”

    The seconds arm on the wall clock jumped one step and stopped again. The TV noise cacophonically repeating itself, it was just now I paid attention that the picture did not change from the moment she turned it on and only the sound was alive yet making no sense to my hearing.

    “Can you stop time?” I asked her, knowing by now the answer.

    “No, but I can slow it down. Nothing can stop time, not even fairies.”

    “Do I have to forget you again? I do not want to forget you, I want to remember you every moment, every instant, I want to walk the street with you on my mind, to work with you before my eyes, to come home knowing that the night will explode in thousands of newly born stars, I love you madly, sacrilegiously, please do not make me forget. I don’t give a damn about your spells, and laws, and age, and assignments... I want to remember you, just you. I don’t even know your name.” I felt querulous, desperate, insanely afraid that I might lose her once she pulled the forgetfulness spell over me again... “When can we be together with no parting... when... “ I hesitated, changed my tone...”...can we ever have children together?”

    She screamed with delight, floated up to the ceiling and let gravitation drop her like a liberated stone over my body, knocking my ribs out of place and jarring my teeth as her mouth tried to rend my lips to bleeding pieces. I grabbed her hair, closing my palm to a fist and pulling savagely, tearing... her muffled words of joy letting floods of tears from her eyes drown my own in their wildly erupting surge...

    “You never asked before... When I am ready... When you are ready... And... Yes, we can...”

    And then she touched my left eye with her index finger.


    I locked the door behind me, got into the car and drove to work. It was early and the traffic jams were still way off in the future of the awakening morning. I tried to tune into an oldies station, then at an impulse I turned the radio off and started dreaming. I liked these early driving moments, the daily stress not yet there, the traffic flowing, and my mind playing the first accords to a new poem. Will it be a poem or a story? I asked myself, jotting from time to time a few hurried notes on the dashboard notebook. It was a relatively relaxed day. Most of the office bridged over the Friday, making it a long weekend, and I volunteered to stay as I did not have any special plans. I did not feel like socializing lately, good mood controlling my thoughts for most of the time and for unclear reasons, and all my lonely moments filled with writing. I planned on publishing a second book and was busy filling its pages, a dream I intended to re-live. A word intruded inside my thoughts... Remember... what a strange sounding word... I thought for a few seconds, then decided that my next poem would be something around this theme.

    I had a big sandwich for lunch, returned to the office for a couple of hours then decided I had enough of it. Nothing happened, it might as well not happen at home. I closed the computer, sent a kiss the security guard’s way and drove home at a relaxed pace. Half of the population had probably taken the Friday off so, like this morning, I drove with no interruptions. I felt happy and never stopped to wonder why. Like I never stopped to wonder why for the whole of the day I never opened my left fist. I felt like this was the natural way of things, when eating, when driving, even when typing on the keyboard. I parked the car in front of the house, locked it and rushed up the stairs carrying the laptop in my right hand. Old Mrs Woods was just descending the stairs and stumbled. I jumped towards her and caught her with my left hand. She got her footing again and thanked me several times on her way down the stairs. I didn’t hear her. My gaze fixed on a thin strand of reddish hair curled asleep and forgotten in my left palm, now lazily stretching out and slowly sliding to ground...

    Flashes... images... a memory... I remembered... I heard a heart wrenching scream in my head as I let out a howl and leaped the three floors up to my apartment tearing open the door falling in and encountering just the emptiness of a dark apartment, a messed up bed, and the lingering strange smell of soap, of old wood and... woman.


    I found a clean room and adequate care in the city’s mentally disabled hospital. After my breakdown, my request for residence was approved by the judge against furious counter claims from the health insurance company’s lawyers. I guess he pitied me, and my story sounded so credible that he concluded I was irreversibly insane. Therefore it would be in everyone’s best interest that I be professionally cared for and separated from the rest of the population. I continued writing, staying late every night in the hope that she might show up, that I might hear her, feel her again. The hope never dying. I keep promising my forever silence for just one more night with her, my sanity for just one more kiss, my life for just one more glimpse of her. It kept me alive. Would she graduate and finally be allowed to return to this world? I didn’t know. Was it all an insanity dream caused by that small growth in my brain as the doctors claimed or just plain reality as I claimed? I knew. I know.

    I never again opened my left fist in public since that day. It stayed locked, firm, clenched. Just late evenings, under the secrecy of the yellowish bed-side bulb, I would open it and bring to my lips that single strand of soft silken reddish hair, tasting, kissing, smelling. Oh, that smell of soap, and old wood, and... woman...



Color Blind

    As you bat long curly lashes
    Over brown deserted lakes

    “Brown?...” ...the pain in her voice unmatching the mirth in mine. She picks a thin, crystal wine glass and starts crying into it. I want to rush to her side but she holds out her hand... “Stop!...” and I stop, watching anxiously as the unending stream drips incessantly, till the overflow spills over her fingers. Then she places the glass in front of here left eye, the magnified streaking light hitting me like a runaway train. “Brown?..” she asks.

    “Green...” I answer, “Green like a forest reborn in green buds...”

    She smiles.

    Watching east burn night to ashes
    In your veins brown storm awakes

    “Brown?...” ...the pain in her voice unmatching the mirth in mine. I see the white of teeth taking in the lower lip, squeezing, slashing, cutting in. I want to rush to her side but she holds out her hand... “Stop!...” and I stop, watching fearfully thick drops falling into the overflowing glass, splattering and sputtering until the turbid liquid calms down, colorful traces staining her fingers. Then she stretches her hand towards me, shivering. “Brown?...” she asks.

    “Red” I answer, “Red like a forest drowning in red roses...”

    She smiles.

    Through your heart a hunger slashes
    As my breath your brown locks rakes

    “Brown?...” ...the pain in her voice unmatching the mirth in mine. She snaps two fingernails above the glass, the spark igniting the slowly gyrating liquid’s surface into a single flame leaping towards her hair. I want to rush to her side but she holds out her hand... “Stop!...” and I stop, watching terrified the flame licking her fingers, mounting along strands of hair, the smell of blistering flesh invading my nostrils. Then she shakes her head sending showers of cascading sparks my way. “Brown?..” she asks.

    “Fire...” I answer, “Fire like a forest sinking into the sun...”

    She smiles.

    And my mouth your passion crashes
    When its dues my body takes...

    “Finally...” she smiles, “Finally you’ve got your colors right.”

    “There are no colors,” I say, “colors are unimportant. Important is life.”

    “There are colors,” she says, “colors are important. Important is love.”

    “I love you, you are my life,” I say.

    “I love you, you are my love,” she says.

    As you bat long curly lashes
    Over green deserted lakes
    Watching east burn night to ashes
    In your veins red storm awakes
    Through your heart a hunger slashes
    As my breath your fire rakes
    And my mouth your passion crashes
    When its dues my body takes...



The Lab

    If I knew then what I know now I would have grown bananas. I don’t remember if it was in my “To Do”s, have to check my lab notes. Pretty sure I had it already designed by the time. Why bananas? Firstly - it is yellow, brrrrrrr... Secondly - you have to peel before you eat, less immediate... hesitation counts, you know...

    I took my telescope and looked down again. Oh, my Me, what a mess... Guess it’s time for a new cleanup. Pity, so much time lost. Let’s see, what will I call him this time? Definitely NOT Adam...



Colors Child

    or The Lab, Two

    Born, as usual, in the car. Only this time around I did not jot down any notes, the traffic was too dense to take any risks. And I heard that some lamp posts colluded to give me a warm crushing embrace, so I decided to play it careful on this occasion, too much was at stake. And anyway, most of it was already sitting well implanted in my mind.


    “Daddy, what if the sky was all of it covered with rainbows all the time? What would we do then?”

    I looked at her, barely five year old and asking already philosophical questions. I don’t think I have been as wise at her age, not that I had any chance remembering myself at her age. I wish I could have said she was as wise as her mother. Only she had no mother. My eyes clouded in tenderness tears.

    “Then we would wait patiently for the rain to bring up this one beautiful arc of deep blue in the sky and write poetry about it.”

    “Daddy, and if the world was fully fully fully covered with a thick carpet of red roses, and violet lilac, and yellow daisies?”

    “Then we would start crossing mountains and valleys and terrible dangers looking desperately for that one single leaf of green grass and build walls around it and place armies to protect it and write poetry about it.”

    I hated those questions. Not today of all days, yet, as if she guessed my mind set she insisted on continuing them with innocent determination. Was she trying to postpone the moment? Was she reading my mind, I thought, unwillingly diverting my eyes from her?

    “Daddy, what if the world was full only with white skinned light haired people? What would happen then?”

    I did not answer immediately, thinking back to my miserable earlier failed project, code name Adam, and this kid so much wiser now than I have been at that time, so long ago. Had I the right to do what I was doing, had I the right to do what I was going to do?

    “My sweet girl, then the first black skinned curly haired baby girl to be born would have been idolized, and religions would have been built around her, and wars fought to own the right to worship her, and poems be written about her.”

    “Daddy, poetry is always so sad, is it because the world is full of happiness?

    She was not supposed to say that. She was barely at the stage of colors and even there she was too advanced and too knowledgeable for her age, this last question proved to me that she was learning too fast, we were not yet ready for that, they were not yet ready for that. Was she reading my mind, I asked myself again, this time looking straight into her eyes?

    “Daddy, why is my skin ebony black and my eyes emerald green and my blood topaz blue?”

    I felt like crying. I did not.

    “Because you are a project on my computer screen and I designed you the way I imagined you on my way to work five years ago, beautiful, intelligent, good, human.”

    “Is this why I must die? Because I am beautiful, intelligent, good, human?”

    “No. Because you are different. And they are not yet ready for difference. I wonder if they ever will.” She did read my mind, now I knew it. She was much better than I ever intended her to be and therefore now she had to... go. The pain in my heart was terrible.

    “Will I ever come to life again? Will you keep me somewhere safe till it is time?”

    I stretched my hand to the screen, seeing her smile lighting up at the touch of my fingertips on her cheek.

    “I will keep you here...” I said pointing to my head, “... and here,” I said pointing to my heart. “And one day I will bring you to life again,” I smiled. Then, swiftly turned the main switch off before she had any time to read my mind again. It just may take my whole eternity till that time would come.


    I drove back home, the pain in my heart thicker than the clouds in my eyes. Somehow, I suddenly did not mind anymore meeting that lamp post head-on, straight.