Counting Syllables

by Tom Jenkins

It’s the middle of the night. I’ve just woken from a bad dream. In it, three lynxes in the garden of my childhood home are chasing my parents’ scrawny runt of a cat. He makes it to the safety of the kitchen, where I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor, and leaps onto my lap. The lynxes paw at the cat flap, but can’t get through. Back in the real world, I reach for my phone and search for ‘dream interpretation’ on the Internet.

The Musuem of Extinct Animals

The Museum Of Extinct Animals is many things. It is a labyrinth of dusty secrets. It is a fortress of fallen totems from another time. It is a symposium of ghosts. The Museum Of Extinct Animals is a cathedral-sized capsule containing stuffed creatures of rare distinction. Mythical creatures, post-extinction.

The Tortoise is (Wo)man's Real Best Friend

I own an animal that will live longer than anyone I know. She will outlive the next generation and the generation after that. When you buy a tortoise, no one tells you how much you will think about death. But when you have something living in your house that will outlive you by a century, mortality hangs in the air.

Animal Man: Reflections of a Zookeeper

The tapir, like all odd-toed ungulates, has an exceptionally large penis. I have seen it with my own eyes.  I can never un-see it. I can never erase the weighty mental image, but I can offload it onto others. And I do so often. I tell my friends and my mum and the postman about it.

Going Up the Country: Why I Want to Abandon My Career

I have this fantasy for the future. It involves moving far, far away from the city, dropping my job as a writer and ditching my musical career. I keep my husband though... My fantasy for a rural, simple future is considered grossly basic in my peer group, because educated, feminist women like myself are supposed to want more.

FAO Godzilla

Dear Godzilla, It’s been such a long time. Do you remember when you told me there were special fires raging at the bottom of the Mariana Trench? I said, how can I believe you? Then you drew yourself inward and by the end of the evening it was the world’s biggest deal to get a full sentence out of you. You mustn’t be so sensitive.

Psychics

I’ve been obsessed with psychics since I can remember. I don’t know what it is. Tea leaf readings, the magnificent tarot, exalted ghosts of the past, peculiar mediums – you name it, I find it enrapturing. I’m so preternaturally drawn to these themes that I’m developing a television series about them. A fascination so poignant and deep, I can daydream scenarios for hours on end.

The Chandelier

An empty bottle of 94-point Napa Cabernet sat next to the bed. He had purchased it through a collector. They were not alcoholics, but at a bottle plus per night, she supposed they were falling into that class of lush who wrap self-medication up in exquisite packaging. He thrust on top of her.

Faith Healed by the Voice of a Bond Girl

“I can help you. Come to mine for faith healing on Saturday,” urged Nikki van der Zyl as she clasped my hand. I was interviewing her about life as the voice of Ursula Andress (and six other Bond girls) at the time and was unsure how we had gotten so off topic.

In the Dream

In the dream, Charlotte was laying on her right side on the bed, with her arm propping up her head. Wade was flat on his back. White blankets were ruffled between their bodies. Charlotte could feel all her clothes, but it was a dream feeling so she could not tell if she actually had any clothes on. Wade was shirtless. She could see his upper half, stocky and soft.