Carnival of Change


(Credit: mrcbax on DeviantArt)

‘I just don’t think it’ll work out,’ she said, clutching her cone of cotton candy. ‘Sorry,’ she rose from the red and white striped bench.

‘Oh, I understand,’ said Tom although he did not. ‘So, err… I’ll see you around?’

‘Sure,’ she said, although her eyes and apologetic smile said ‘probably not’, and she disappeared into the crowd.

He watched the rainbow coloured horses bob up and down, while breathing in the popcorn and sugar roasted almonds. Through the music, he head a child screaming something about not wanting to go home, and he thought; ‘why not go to the fire show, now that I’m already here?’

They had roped off an area of the grass where they had put up some tall torches. On the other side of the rope were several rows of chairs. He was the first member of the audience there, so from the middle seat in the front row, he watched the performers fetch buckets of water. One performer caught his eye, as she test spun her poi. She was bald, had a snakebite piercing and a tattoo of a sun on her shoulder. She made him think that maybe it was time for a change. He had been through three relationships with a girl-next-door, maybe he was mean to be with someone more exciting than that. Maybe he was meant to be with someone wild and fiery. The thought grew on him as the seats filled up, and when the sun-tattooed woman spun her fire poi so that it looked like she had flaming butterfly wings, he was sure.

After the performance, he waited for everyone to leave the front row. Then he ducked under the rope. She turned just as he came close, and he took it as a sign, but he was not fast enough to get the first word.

‘You’re not supposed to cross the rope,’ said the woman with the sun tattoo.

‘Oh, yeah, I’m sorry, I know, but I was just thinking, maybe…’

She crossed her arms.

‘Would-you-like-to-get-coffee?’ he stumbled through the words.

She smiled. But it was not an accepting smile, and his heart sank before she began speaking.

‘I don’t think…’ she said.

‘You’re about to tell me you have a boyfriend, aren’t you?’ he said.

‘Girlfriend, actually,’ she said, ‘but thanks for the offer.’

He sighed and wondered why he had not just gone home to bed right after the show.

‘You were the one who watched us set up, right?’ she asked.

‘Yeah,’ he said. In fact, he should never even have gone to the show.

‘Come have a beer with us,’ she said.

‘What?’ He raised his head.

‘With me and the crew,’ she said, ‘you look like you need some people around you.’

As she took his arm and led him to the other performers, he thought that maybe, she really was the change he needed.

Three Wishes


I thought I heard you giggle,

But it was only the cold river,

Lumps of ice breaking off the shores,

Bobbing up and down in the rushing waters.

You used to bathe there in summer.

If I had three wishes, one would be for your childish laughter.


I thought that I heard you sing,

But it was only the church choir,

Rehearsing for a funeral.

The boys’ faces all concentration one moment,

Then contorted in silent laughter as the priest looked away.

If I had three wishes, one be for a happy song from you.


I thought I saw you crossing the street,

And it might have been you,

Even though he was wearing a suit,

Striding along with an attaché case,

Clutching it as you once clutched my hand.

If I had three wishes, one would be for you to be with me again as you were,

One would be for you to stay with me forever,

One would be for you to never change.




May was warm that year and gentle on his heart. A few women came knocking; he even let one of them in. Just as he braced himself for the pangs of refurbishing, she simply slid inside and settled into his heart as it was. She told him she hoped he would never change, and she promised him that she never would. This made him sigh with relief.

Several months later, he grew slightly bored with the daily routine, so he signed up for a climbing course. He discovered that something was wrong during the very first climb. Then he noticed what it was; she was there in his chest like a lump of lead, weighing him down.

Well that was that, he thought, she would have to go. However, when he thought he was ready to remove her, he found that she had grown on him, into him; sitting in the wall of his heart like a tumour.

Empty Spaces


There is a wall of emptiness between us.

You have tried filling it with words, and I have tried filling it with silence, and when we both tried filling it with music it distorted the tunes and made them jar in our ears.

Eating through the emptiness would starve me and scaling it would break my legs, so I am beginning to wonder whether it will at all be possible for us to return to the way it was.

Maybe we can learn to live with the emptiness, maybe we can’t. Maybe it belongs to me and you could escape it without me, but I do wish you would stay with me, because if you leave I will have two voids to fill.


When I emerge from my cocoon, I won’t be a butterfly, I’ll be something new and exciting and even more beautiful. And how hearts everywhere will sigh at the sight of me, but I will always be just above their heads. I will have favourites who will be allowed to come infinitesimally closer, who will be killed by their jealous peers or if they are not killed their eyes will dry out from staring at me and they will go blind.

And when the plans to catch me are well underway, I’ll fly into the sun and expire in a blaze of glory.


Oryctolagus cuniculus

Oryctolagus cuniculus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lethargic longears lounge on the lawn in Luna’s light, the Lord Leaf leading them in their languid leisure.

They look less alive after the laboratory. They left it last month. How long will the effects last, I wonder? Little Lovage has become lanky and the Lord Leaf lumpish.

Are these lackadaisical lads and ladies all that are left of the loving, laborious and limber companions that I lost?

What lunacy could let this lamentable lycanthropy change them? Alas, there is a large lacuna in my knowledge of the laboratory, and its labyrinthine corridors do not allow me to find the Lucifer who did it.

Were it not for my lisp I would loudly let them know that my loyalty is still strong.

But for how long I cannot tell.

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