Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: dust


Here, Brad (@Squidshire), I wrote a fanfic about you.


A thought stopped him dead in the middle of the moment, and he forgot what he was doing. He had been holding a knife, but he was not holding a knife anymore: it was safely lodged in the middle of a loaf. He always cut the loaves in half, in half in half in half until they were the thickness he preferred, this was his way, a thought stopped him dead: I wonder how things would go if I pupated right this moment. Another thought: Leather gets more grim the more you think about it.

He bought long bandages of silk and they arrived rolled up like papyrus scrolls. He half-expected there to be hieroglyphs, but it was just so smooth. Right this moment – perhaps a moment could be a few days long. Brad had always considered moments to be like loaves of bread, infinitely divisible. Maybe a moment was composed of several moments closely stacked together. In someone’s eyes, in the eyes of a very old tree spirit perhaps, his whole life was but a moment. He paused momentarily. What was he doing?

He was in the bathtub. He was wrapping himself in silk, a contorted dance in a small space, and he could already feel the new enzymes in his body begin to bite at him, break him down. This was good. People said you could not feel your insides, because you have no nerve endings there, but Brad had always felt inverse like that.

There was the issue of whether he should leave room to breathe or not. He decided against it, but he covered his nostrils the very last thing that he did, writhing around in the bathtub because he had wrapped his arms in silk and could not move them. And then he felt the oxygen leave him like a lover, reluctantly saying farewell, promising to come back.

He was in a deep sleep.

He had never considered himself to be divisible by half, but it turned out that he was. By half by half by half. His organs, once content to be contiguous, loosened their border policies and enmeshed. The silk was his skin and not. New organs were forming, like ex-Soviet states after the fall. He had never counted his organs before but he was sure there was more of them now. Something cracked. It was the sarcophagus he had made himself of silk; to think that something so soft could still crack like ice.

Brad realized that his life was divisible by half, and he had just heard the crack. The thought that had stopped him dead had actually killed him, and for a transitional period he had been dead. He looked at his wings in the too-small mirror of the bathroom, after wiping away the dust. There was a lot of dust to wipe away.


Image courtesy of The Thrusting Sensations

Image courtesy of The Thrusting Sensations, who have a facebook page:, and a website:

Rock-dust litters the streets of a city on the same latitude as Rome and the Gobi Desert. Abandoned cars are parked in great clots; the cars are all identical. They are big and silver and they are family cars, and one or more children have jumped out of these cars to join the children of the city. On the ground, small dust-particles are carried away by stray crenellations of spilt water or gasoline; the smallest particles are still hanging in the air, and there is the bustle of a town busy creating more of them, a distant clink of metal against rock, metal against rock, metal against rock again.

It is the children who carve the stones, and it must have been they who brought all the stones into the city in the first place, from the surrounding forest. There must be dormant stones there, and trees that bend out of the way when the boulders come rolling. The trees, then, root themselves back firmly into the ground.

At first it was just one stone. There is a picture floating around from that first morning, with an angry and incredulous woman pressing her useless hands against a 50-tonne rock standing in her driveway, between her car and the street. She lifts herself from the ground with her efforts, and the rock remains, violently, perfectly still. The next morning, three more stones neatly and deliberately prohibited anyone from leaving that whole street by car. The working adults of that neighbourhood had dressed in their work clothes and simply commuted that day and the next, but the following morning there was a stone guarding every bus stop in a mile-wide radius. At this point, the stones were mostly jagged and pyramidal, cut-off but smooth, as if broken off a very long time ago from a larger structure.

Some of the stones have cracks in them clean through, after tired frustrated and tiny hands making mistakes. While a stone is still being carved, children will crawl all over it, chipping away at select chunks of stone in concert. Other children hammer large pieces of rock that fall off into rock-dust; they wear paper masks over their faces for this.

The children carve faces into these stones, or, they carve one face into them: a round, masculine face with a large nose, and full lips, and hollows for eyes. It is as if they all know this man and capture him in different moods, with a caricaturistic flair added to give the stone life. But whether seething, serene, smirking or sulking – it is the same face. One of the larger stones depicts this unidentified male, his mouth set into a firm line and one shoulder raised from the asphalt, as though he is rising from the middle of the street as a man coming out of the water. The white painted line in the middle of the road goes right through his neck.

There are still cars coming through the city, though their main arteries are blocked, and they inch along on capillary systems and on novel routes. One citizen has opened her garage and knocked out the back wall to let people through. There is a passage in the North of the city where two stone faces stare at each other and any driver must slow to a crawl to pass through, their car’s wing mirrors folded back like the ears of a frightened animal.

Forest is being cleared in two sweeping arches; the highway is projected to be finished by early next spring.

Nightmare Fuel October 2012, Day 16

Image courtesy of Shelby Goatz at Google+

Chests heave. Knives are dropped. Plates stop spinning on the checkerboard floor. The cellar door bangs shut. As the dust settles from their last fight, Marianne hides where no dust has ever even been stirred. Except, something stirs. There, down between two crates filled with Fragile somethings, something moved. Could have been a trick of the light if there was any light down here. Her pulse quickens. She sticks to the classics.


Unfortunately for her, so do I.

“Don’t you just wish,” I say, voice sweet and slow and dark like molasses, “that he could understand how it feels?”