ANGRY, TATTOOED MONK

ShortStory

short story. 9 august 2022

blue cloudless sky. a tree planted near the concrete bench by the grave cast dappled shade that wavered with the slight breeze.

behind me, outside my peripheral vision, NHØP played his upright bass while red-winged blackbirds darted above the tasseled heads of corn and i shaved curls of balsa wood strips.

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short story. 4 august 2020

gloaming eased to darkness, the wind blew steady. a hut nestled within a copse of trees stood above the animal path.

i entered and sat on the earthen floor. there was a small hearth and fire.

i began to cough.

within my throat, a deep scratching tickle intensified. i began to retch. i rolled onto my hands and knees and vomited a dark, long, stringy mass. it was a thick rope of hair.

a few wet hairs stuck to my lips and face; i felt them move as my stuttered breath slowed. i placed the mass of hair in the fire. it smoldered before burning.

from behind, something moved towards me from the corner darkness. i leaned back against its legs to rest. it placed a thorny branch in my left hand and painted three horizontal stripes across my forehead. i closed my eyes. the skin beneath the stripes stung.

also posted on Dockyard Press.

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conversations. 25 april 2018

i am walking through a muddy field. ridges and ruts from large vehicles litter the landscape.

i step in a puddled rut, my sandal lost to its muddy depths as i pull my foot free.

a wind gust blows into my face. i turn my head. a brutalist tower stands to my left. i wonder where it came from and walk towards it.

the entryway doors, built of glass and steel, are open. i walk inside. the interior of the lobby is clean. instead of furniture, piles of rubble punctuate the space. a rabbit sits atop some debris. it appears old: cutouts and nicks on both ear edges, the short hairs growing there are illuminated by window light; bald patches dapple its body. it is wearing an ascot.

the rabbit asks, “why are you here?”

i answer, “i walked through the doors.”

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