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Short stories

the corners of her eyes

(Note: This story was published in 2006 for my university newspaper. It is the first story I ever illustrated of my own, indeed the only one I have ever illustrated so far, and is an experimental piece of writing).


Blonde she was, publicly, undeniably so. A blondeness that struck at the eyes and inspired strange hallucinations of waving fields and molten gold for the colours of her blondeness were many and demonic. Under the shaded corner of the room, however, this was not so noticeable. The dog-like greys, the shades of secrecy clasped her to themselves, trying to extinguish the great fire of her blonde, blonde hair. They leached into her skin, dying it silver, for otherwise it would have been the colour of a blushing peach. They barked and barked, obscuring her underneath their sound. For she was in hiding. The bondage of the eye had been fearful to her. It had made her cling to the corners, to the ground, the table. She had become water-water in the shame of it, dissipating into the silent, shaded corner.

the corner of her eyes

I tried again to make some small-talk. She shrunk into the corner. She had almost become that meeting of the walls, obdurate as she was and silent, veiled in that forlorn cloth which society gave those who did not speak, but sat and twisted their time into small bows of fragile nothingness. She was not water-water at all, she was ice, so hopelessly solid that it almost brought the tears into my eyes. Solid like a great glancing sword which shivered with violence, or like a mountain throbbing before an avalanche which ran down the past. She was as solid as a naked death and she encapsulated the whole of my reality.

Ah, but I could not focus upon her. What was she to me and my eye today? Something brittle, menacing and hysterical was in the air, kissing at me and pulling me into itself. I tried to shake myself out of its jaws, snap back into myself, but it kept at me, licking me about the lips and breathing into me. Its seductions were like a burning brand which made holes into me until I was becoming a nothing of its playing. Oh, I screamed inside my loudest innerness. I begged for otherness. But its ways were surreptitious and steady. They fastened onto my desire, slowly-slowly making me into something that I was not, rarifying my being into a smouldering torture. It touched me in the place that gave pitiless sanction. It was only and her and nothing else. There was not me.

I tried again, trying to bring the thing out of my voice, for it made it thick and heavy with oil in places and scattered like a broken thing in others. A wild, baying wolf bayed, bayed, bayed bayed bayedbayedbayed inside me. Violence communicated its meaning into me. Wilderness, I was in the wilderness. She was a pillar of smoke in the wilderness. Her smoothness was like a stone against the side of my head which somehow left grasping barbs.

She did not look up. But she was a many-headed monster. I knew that she saw. How much of her life had she lived through the corners of her eyes? I was caught in the hard, jagged-edged impossibilities of my cluster-fucking intentions and I was spinning in a steely vortex. Why was I the centre and the periphery? The blood hurt me. It pinched at me and blew me up into a wooden spear of terrible aggression. I was being raped by the vacuum around me.

She took another cool, cool sip of whisky. And then she very smoothly and prettily and silently outlined my corpse and folded it away. And then she very stubbornly and coldly castrated me – with the corners of her eyes.



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