Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: flash fiction

Nettle

Found a nettle growing under a bridge. Start of summer, I was out looking for shards of your heart between the cobblestones.

A single nettle. Tall, even gangly. Like someone had dropped a needle there and walked away. Sat on my haunches by it, feet pointing at Chimère St. and Byson across the canal. Reached out a hand as if picking a flower for a lover, gloveless. Held it between thumb and forefinger and anticipated the sting, brushing it up and down my underarms over the area where your tattoo goes. Expecting, in vain, the skin to react at all.

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Augury

One day a stray walked onto the set in the middle of a scene, distracting the actresses. It was unclear how it could have got there, as no-one had seen it before it stalked into frame. We kept the film rolling, though. We got distracted – the director too, despite his reputation. That’s how it looked for a split-second. But he stayed himself. Maybe for headlines, maybe he’s just like that. He gutted the dog right there with a knife that he apparently carries on his person at all times, spilling the entrails like vague futures all over the plastic carpet.

Constellations

Your father told you about magic. About the stories hanging from the ceiling of the world like carcasses in a slaughterhouse. About astronomy and astrology. You learned to draw maps of places that didn’t exist. He told you it was okay to not know the names of constellations, because you can create your own astronomical phenomena and your own myths. Sometimes it might hurt seeing lines drawn by someone else hundreds of years ago. It doesn’t matter that things go missing, because you can find them again. Outside the apartment the whole hospital was quarantined. He was talking about himself.

Across the Street

The family across the street have two sets of drapes, one seems to be made of metal. Perhaps it’s bulletproof. They hug their kid hard in the mornings, looking at her like she’s survived cancer when she gets into the school bus. I don’t know what their names were, but the dad was not called Pete, Simon, Mark, Matt, or Robert. He’s called Trevor now; I don’t believe that either. Sometimes when we are in our gardens simultaneously I shout male names to see if he twitches. He thinks I’m boisterous and on good terms with everyone who bikes past.

Changeling

after Cecilie K.

~

Every monster child goes through this. Changeling, they would correct me with boiling water in their voices: every changeling goes through this. Monsters are something different. It is the rite of passage at the edge of the woods (even in places where there are no trees for miles, there are woods). The changeling stands peering into the darkness, perhaps looking at her claws which she has filed down to be just nails, and she thinks with a clarity usually only found in orchestral flute music and cloudless nights at great altitudes: I am not the scariest thing in these woods.

~

Also a thing from the archives, although some other archives. Written after standing at the pitch-black mouth of a forest for ten minutes in the middle of the night, trying to get my eyes to get used to the level of light in there, eventually realizing that it didn’t get lighter than that. Inspired a lot by things Cecilie K. had written, also. You can read her excellent writing at this following link, for example: ceciliewrites.com

You Wept

You wept. Who even weeps anymore? I bawl or tear up or cry, once I even blubbered, but you wept. This is exactly analogous to that time you caressed my skin when I thought you would stroke my chin or pet my hair. You’re from another time, another world. You called me dashing, when I’m nothing above handsome, am I? Am I? I don’t want to make love to you, I want blinding sex, I want a good shag, I want to fuck you, but you wrap your legs around me lovingly and I don’t know how to correct you.

~

More from the archives. Something about the spiderweb of connotations and me learning how to write, and how to love. They’re the same thing probably.

Mayfly

The whole, “you’re beautiful,” thing. You are. The only beautiful person I know and I don’t know why. Others can be pretty, hot, cute, sexy, gorgeous, jaw-dropping (you are all those things) but none of them can be beautiful, like you are. Some define beauty as perfection and some define it as perfectly flawed, and I don’t know, it’s not about that. There’s just something about the way you laugh and the way you kiss and the way you think. You’re a mayfly, bewinged and ephemeral, aren’t you? I would like to admire you, but, it’s okay if I can’t.

~

Another from the archives. I’m still fond of this declaration of love from a very stumbling mouth. (I’ve used that word and really meant it maybe three or four times after I wrote this. Sometimes it slips out of my mouth like a moth from an old abandoned wardrobe. Sometimes I write beauty in stories to mark lies.)

Before the Light Turns Red

Reposting this old drabble from 2012 because I deleted the old blog it was on in a fit of entropy. Might post more of these if there’s anything salvage-worthy. Anyway. This piece is based on a gorgeous song by Unwoman, called The Heroine: unwoman.bandcamp.com/track/the-heroine

I urge you to go listen to that. And when you’ve read my piece, to read this excellent post by @earlgreyhot, also inspired by that song: earlgreyhot.com/blog/the-heroines-demons/

~

Cross the street before the light turns red, arrive out of breath at your theatre. You’re playing someone who’s losing her love tonight again. Five hundred sirens blare to dampen the sound of the bombs. The play is in the basement, no-one’s here to take my ticket. Everything goes crimson and I hide in the dark behind a pillar. Fifty thousand pairs of hands grab me when I catch a bombflash in a shard of glass. I get thrown out. Remember me as more than the shadow I will glue to the wall. I hope you believed I would show.

A SHORT SCENE

WOMAN
And this is “Silent” Jimmy.

MAN
What, because he’s always quiet?

“SILENT” JIMMY
No in fact it is because I will not stop talking, for example that one time that all of us were drinking beer and someone made the mistake of asking me to define the word “pleasant” and everybody had managed to drink up two more rounds of beer before I finally got to a punctuation mark in my talking. I’m a bit better now of course but still the most commong thing that people tell me is inevitably–”

WOMAN
Silent, Jimmy.

“SILENT” JIMMY
That.

Scream the Throats

We sound the drums, rattam; we stretch the skin taut and beat them until they burst and the music stops. We fall the rain, we gather the clouds, we heavy the air until one struggles for oxygen and the music stops. We play the strings, we boom the thunder. We grin, rattam; we sharpen the claws, we scratch against all the glass surfaces we find. We throw the stones, we pound the blood in ears and wrists and jugulars. We close the eyes, we make you scream until the music stops, we beat the drums, rattam, we beat the drums.

~

Old, very old, impossibly old thing I wrote for my dear friend Pao (@Panterdjuret) and wanted to have available on this here website as well. Edited a tiny, very tiny, impossibly tiny bit because things change over the years. Two words are different.