The Fish in the Mirror: Get Out While You Can

I first published this story and picture on my other site. The story is based on a story in Louis Borges’ Book of Imaginary Beings- which I highly recommend. I wrote it hearing it in a British accent, if that makes any sense, and my apologies to Great Britain.

There have been times in my life when I thought I should be trying to save the world. I came to find out that the underlying reality of both my self and the world were quite different than I had thought them to be.

I ended up having to save myself. From salvation. yaaaaaay.

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Sophie

A long time ago, when the world had just begun turning, mirrors were different then they are now. In those days, mirrors weren’t just looking glasses- you could walk right through them- into another world. And the people who lived on the other side could walk right out. They might sit down and take tea with you, if they felt like it.

But it happened that they didn’t feel like it. I don’t know how it began, but they say that the mirror people decided that they would like to live in two worlds, not just one. They gathered up all their armies, and came pouring through every mirror on earth. It wasn’t going well for our earth people, I’ll tell you that.

It was then that the Great Yellow Ancestor arose. The Ancestor was the Emperor, all the way over in China, across the sea. He made a wyrd, a mighty spell, and changed their fates. His magic took hold of the mirror people and swept them back into the mirrors.

It did more than that, too. He put a curse on them. From that day forward, instead of coming and going in their own world as they pleased, they were forced to mimic the ways and clothes of the land they had tried to invade, as punishment. It was so bad that they couldn’t even look like themselves. They had to look like us, in our world, and copy us exactly in whatever we said or did.

That’s why, when you go and look in a mirror, a mirror person comes and looks out at you- looking like you do. It’s the magic of the Yellow Ancestor at work.

Fredrick

Oh come on, Sophie! I asked you a serious question! This is too much, even for you! No one listens to ‘wives tales, or wherever it was you heard that. You’re acting dense.

Sophie

Well it’s not a ‘wives tale, Freddie! A learned man wrote that in a book, after he read it in a book that the learned men in China wrote, who were probably told it by Confucius himself! You’re the one who’s dense.

Fredrick

Well at least I’m being serious.

Sophie

You aren’t either. You’re teasing me to see if I can answer. You don’t really care.

You should care, you know.

Fredrick

Why on earth would I care about mirrors?

Sophie

Humpf.

Fredrick

If you’re not going to answer, I’m not going to stand here and watch you pout.

Sophie

Because of the Fish.

Fredrick

The fish? What are you talking about now?

Sophie.

The Ancestor’s magic isn’t going to last forever, Freddie. One day the Fish in the mirror will wriggle free of the spell. He’ll swim out into our world.

And then it will begin again.

There won’t be any Yellow Emperor to save the earth this time.

Fredrick

More nonsense! Can you imagine? People like us getting free!

The Garden and the Creature: Clay

He took a lump of clay, once

He rolled it in his hands

poked and twisted

He showed you.

this was called ‘a shape’

He pointed out on you

it has a leg, you have a leg

it has a leg, you have a leg

it has a joint, you have a joint

it has a head, you have a head

 

It’s like me!

 

Yes. Just exactly like you!

 

You made it!

 

Yes. Just like I made you.

 

You looked around, suspicious.

 

What else did you make?

 

Everything.

 

(He surely knows everything. He’s answered every question. The Serpent asks you questions, but he never tells you. Not like He does.)

(He’s kneeling to talk to you- like grownups do when you’re a baby and it’s so important)

 

His eyes are shining.

 

That’s right. Only I know everything. That’s why you have to do what I tell you. Only I can keep you safe. Hidden from… monsters. And lions!

If you disobey me, little one, it will make me sad. Very sad. Because you’ll die.

 

What’s ‘die’?

 

This.

 

The clay crumpled.

Spurted through His fingers as He closed His hand.

The Good Wife

She was on the phone, puttering around the kitchen and living room. Cleaning up.  People, kids, around.  Like always.

I was in the door to the mudroom, peeling off my boots. And the mud.

Dad was somewhere in the house, slowly dying.

They had waited too long. When it had been discovered, a surgery could have removed the cancer. ‘God had lead them’ to treat it with extra vitamins and by having a biological dentist dig out his root canal, and by going this one time to sit in a hyperbaric chamber because that’s what the atmosphere was like before the Flood of Noah and people lived hundreds and hundreds of years before the Flood so this would fix it for sure.

When the tumor on his neck was the size of a Florida grapefruit, or larger than both my fists, they decided it was a swollen lymph node. From his body killing so much cancer.  When it peeled itself open and started gushing and dribling fluids, that was his body expelling the cancer.

When he couldn’t turn his head without pain and his right arm and hand swelled with edema to twice their normal size from being pinched by the tumor- they finally broke down and went to a doctor.

But at that point it was too late. It was everywhere.

She was talking to a friend. I couldn’t tell which one. Her voice was animated and eerily enthused. She was talking about his now inevitable death.

“At least he’s had a wife who served him. Not many men can say that!”

She’s fixed him sandwiches whenever he told her. She treats what he says as God’s word for her life- finding reasons for him to be absolutely correct even when God express irrational fears about surgery and then nose dives into conspiracy theories and quack medicines.

And now he’s slowly dying.

Funny.

Many men have wives who are sad when they die.

 

 

 

 

The endless growth of death that is life and shit.

Which is to say that I’m going to try to clean up the blog in the next few weeks. Maybe even posting- god. Fucking weird idea.

I’ve started another site for fiction and non biographical stories.

Body and Blood: Part I

Here’s some fucking vampire writing.

Also I’ve gotten depressed about having posted that video of Avicii’s cover of that one song.  Wake me up. Apparently the song was by a black dude called Aloe Blacc.  Avicii did a cover and the cover became widely popular and all the stations were playing it. It’s like Eminem and rap. White America. I’m telling you.

Here’s the original.

I like it.  Aloe’s got more feeling in his singing than an average pop song/than Avicii’s cover.  I mean seriously.  I like the cover and the video Avicii put with it still makes me cry, but after I heard Aloe I realized how… industrial? Avicii’s version was.  Like he has no emotional connection to the song but is still singing it because he’s being paid per word.

Or maybe I’m just crabby. I AM really crabby.

Don’t Shame Those Bringing Darkness to Light: Elliott Grace Harvey’s Thoughts

Homeschoolers Anonymous

Sculpt and Photo Credit: Jason Benner

Some of the comments I come across regarding human rights issues blow my mind. I’m talking about the things that become a major source of dissension in social media and personal conversations.

A movie about kinky sex.

Discrimination towards the queer community.

Gender inequality. Rape culture and its many representations.

“No,” I protest, trying to kick him off. He stops. “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet too. If you make a noise… I will gag you.”

An overwhelming theme I see emerging is an attitude of annoyance. Frustration that we’re talking about any of this. That whatever the topic is, will go away and we should stop discussing it because “controversy” is what makes this an issue.

“I have an overwhelming urge to cry, a sad and lonely melancholy grips and tightens round my heart. Dashing back to my bedroom, I close the…

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The Worlds of Creation

One of the saddest moments in my life. It was last week.

My little sister was showing me her minecraft world.  I showed up on the doorstep and she ran to get the cracked ipad.

My sister’s world is beautiful.  She has an extensive railway system.  The passengers are mostly cows.  Scattered across the map she has a museum and a mountain castle and a deep cave dwelling (under renovation).  She has a staircase that towers all the way up into the clouds. A king and queen live there.

She showed me the throne room. The king’s chair was golden. It dominated the center of the room.

The queen’s chair was wooden. It didn’t even have a back. It sat unobtrusively in a corner.

She walked her minecraft self into the bedrooms (which were separate). The king’s was impressive. Gold. Crystal. The queen’s was wood. Plain wood at that. She adds an explanation.

“I used to think queens and princesses were better. But now I know they’re not.”

*

I will probably never have a child. I hate being a girl too much.

*

When little sister was a baby, our mom didn’t have time for her. Didn’t have time to make her toys talk in silly voices. Didn’t have time to read to her or show her new things. Was too devoted to her ailing father (who thought he had cured his cancer through prayer) to spend time with her tiny child.  Too obsessed with the horrific end of the world to spend any time on life in the here and now.

I had time.

*

My mother spent my childhood and youth beating into my head that women were created by the all knowing all righteous infinite source of the universe for the sole purpose of handing men sandwiches and getting pregnant as often as humanly possible.

*

None of them talk to me. Oh they talk to me. They smile. Sometimes they even ask me how my day was.  But they never talk about anything below the surface. Never about anything of the organizing beliefs of our lives, never, never answer any of the questions I’ve asked them. Once in a while the mask slips a little. Little brother will mention something that I told mom in strict confidence. Mom keeps little sister away from me at church. The little kids stopped hanging out with me, despite being excited to see me when I show up.

I’ve seen her do this too many times- to too many other people- to not know what she’s doing.

*

I have honored my agreement to not talk about my questions with the little kids. I would have been, and probably still would be, cut off from them entirely- for doing that.

*

The screen shifts, and the view moves through block built trees- cascades of mountains.  A cow is stuck in a train car, being carted off to the farthest horizon for no apparent reason. The world that little sister created pours through our eyes.

The world my mother created  pours through them too.

My little sister believes that she is worth less.

There is nothing I can do or say.

*

Sia

*

Party girls don’t get hurt

Can’t feel anything anything-

When will I learn?-

I push it down, push it down…

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier

From the chandelier

I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist

Like it doesn’t exist

I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night

Feel my tears as they dry…

Help me, I’m holding on for dear life

Won’t look down won’t open my eyes

Keep my glass full until morning light

‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight

On for tonight