Bhishma’s Comedown

yeah, yeah. I know it is Madhubani, not Bhishma in the picture.

I also know that this isn’t what was promised. It’s just a birthday present that fell out of my hands. You will cope, I promise. Benjamin

There was an in-between place behind the entrance to the library, and it was here that Jonny found himself a week before his twenty-ninth birthday. Something was not right, he thought. There was the sound of a pen being worked across dry, uneven papers.

He stepped seven times on the thinning carpet, and each footfall felt tiny mycorrizic tendrils, stretching roots and vegetable matter lattice beneath them. The plants pushed the soles of Jonny’s feet upwards, before popping and crackling seed pods outwards, coughing miniature flowers and fungal spores into the air. Within seconds, they had died; hardened, petrified, changed to resemble old, old coral, washed up on an estuary somewhere.

The in-between place was mostly white. There were sounds that moved on the inside, forgotten voices of dogs, larvae, men and women he used to be, the creakings of bodies he once possessed. The walls of the in-between place were coated in a salt that bled a blue-ish cloud of ink when bruised by his touch. River deltas of colour dripped from his fingers as they brushed their way across the surface.

A man walked slowly outwards, from between the space that separated here from there, and stood directly in front of Jonny. “There is a elephant that bears the name of my son”, he said. “He shall see his own skull cracked like knucklebones, and my people will watch me chose to fall down, my ankles gripped by the soil itself.”

Jonny looked up. “No.” he said.

The water beneath them fed the leaves that curled between Jonny’s toes. The water was drying, fast.

It was his birthday, already.

About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: