“It was you,” Shay says slowly, but forcefully, her face lighting up as if she were a cartoon with a bulb above her head, but she’s not. She’s a real, human person sitting in front of me and name dropping a lot. One of the names she’s dropped is Jesse’s and she’s saying it’s hard to work with him and I say I know, in a way that implies I really, really know. Shay catches my drift, so to speak, more than I intend her to.
I was first fucked for money at the age of 19. Someone tied me up and shoved a silicone cock in my ass. A digital camera captured the entire process. I was paid $300. It was fun, I guess. “He just liked the money and the thought of doing something ‘wrong.’ Passive anal sex is not his thing.” – the assistant narrator. I allowed flesh cocks to replace silicone cocks.
The man of whom she was speaking was short and dark and immensely strong. She mouthed the words slowly, with a care, gazing at her image of him all the while through a prism of love. But then, gradually, she began to speak of other things as well, almost as if she were trying to turn herself from him and those hideous passages of thought.
On the 15th night of the 7th month in the Chinese lunisolar calendar, the lower realm is opened so that ghosts and spirits can return to roam the living world, seeking food and entertainment. During this month (鬼月), Taoists and Buddhists must perform rituals to absolve the suffering of the deceased.
At six it was a black mirror capturing and framing the first settled shapes of rising sun, but by seven the reservoir held ten thousand triangles of light that reconfigured themselves across the surface like a shoal of rising herring. There was a light breeze too, and birdsong from the curlews and house martins as they rode the unseen currents of air.
The other day, I had a nightmare. It was Wednesday afternoon and I’d been up since the night before writing a newspaper review of a translated science fiction novel called One Hundred by the Portuguese author Priscila de Araujo Severo. It’s about a detective who has an accident that leaves him with the power to see the future, without the ability to change it.
I have been thinking about shame, or perhaps, guilt. I understand the difference between the two as being that which is public and perhaps, humiliating, and that which is suffered in private. But you might feel differently about this and I can’t see that being a problem. My grandmother, a practising – if somewhat flexible – Catholic had no patience for either emotion.
Ella & Tim have been a couple for 2 years. Ella is thin and Tim knows the stylist. Both work in content and enjoy taking photos of each other’s feet. Every Friday, Ella and Tim invite friends over for dinner. This Friday, Tim has bought the ingredients to make pasta vongole, as instructed by Ella, based on a recipe she found on a friend’s food blog.
He had to get out. That thought came through louder than what he had done last night, louder than the anxiety over another day in the office with a hangover, louder than the uncertainty over whether he had been smart enough to use a condom with the girl that lay next to him. Chop.
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.