An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


It was a very thin leather belt: perhaps a centimetre wide or half an inch - no more. Gilbert slipped the tail through the narrow brass buckle and slid the resulting loop up his right arm and over the elbow. He stopped just below the bicep and pulled the belt tight. He took the tail into his mouth and clenched it between his teeth. The upper bridge work wobbled slightly but held. With his right hand he slapped up a vein. It had never been easy to get those veins up to the surface - even the blood transfusion people had had problems and after all those donations there was a decent amount of scar tissue.

In front of him there lay a pristine set of works in a stainless steel tray. He had found it at the back of a drawer in the kitchen although he had no idea where it had come from: perhaps he had written it there. It was a big glass syringe with a long sharp hypodermic needle. He tested the temperature of the fluid he had cooked up and drew it into the syringe - it almost filled it. The text had cooked up well and reduced perfectly. He pulled on the belt with his teeth and slapped up the vein again: it was a good blue colour. He purged the air and slipped the hypodermic into the vein painlessly, he had always been better at that part than any nurse or doctor he had ever met, and pressed the plunger down slowly. he emptied the syringe into the vein, removed the hypo and laid it back into its case. He leant back in the chair and lit a cigarette, releasing the belt and shaking it onto the floor.

Some mad old Scotsman had recommended the idea to him although it had doubtless been a joke to start with. But the idea of a transfusion of literary talent had not been such a daft idea after all when he thought on it. It might work might it not? Especially if he was right about quantum transfer. And so, first thing this morning he had brought his copy of Imagination Dead Imagine down to the cellar and dug out the works from the kitchen drawer. It was the most intense literary work he could remember and was mercifully short.

He had chopped it up into tiny pieces with a pair of scissors and put it, thus once reduced, into a small saucepan with a covering of water and put it on the hob to boil. In the first pass boiling the lettering and the ink seeped off of the page fragments and into the liquor. At this point he removed the paper scraps and started the second pass: simmering and reducing. It was not as though he had lost the text entirely, he had had a copy of the complete text printed up onto a tee shirt some years ago and now that copy was fading beautifully at the line ends blurring out the odd word here and there, adding to the fragmentary and fractured nature of the text as written.

By the time Abby came down he had tidied everything away and was sitting at the kitchen table writing. Abby beamed.

(to be continued ... )

1 comment:

  1. Boiling to reduction? I suspect therein lies your mistake. Should have distilled, preferrably 3 times, discarding the foreshots and the aftershots each time. Only then can the finest quintessential essence be obtained.

    PS: I am not mad, and I have a certificate of discharge from the Bedlam Hospital to prove it.