A fillet of cod, formaldehyde, dry paraffin and the frizzling spark of LIFE! “My ichthyoidic friend, be born!” A filthy light emanated from the alchemist’s melting pot. A rumbling jittered dust and books and a sandwich loose and sent them floorward to the limestone. In the pot flopped the impossible: a fish complete and alive. “Why do I live?” asked the fish as dawn peeked through an arrowslit. “I desire a companion in adventure,” said the alchemist.

The fish stared. “When my mustache is grown, I will go.” The alchemist raised his hands in exasperation—a mustache?! Already hairs had begun to appear, but a full mustache would take weeks to grow. He would have to wait. The alchemist set himself to righting the fallen books and scrolls and potions and food to the shelves.

Still Eating Oranges

Who keeps leaving sharp objects in the street at the corner of Vine and Fifth? Gray William.

Lives in a blanket, dances on bonethin legs. Gray William breaks into, homes to, break vases, into pieces, who knows it? The bloated hatted thing from the corner of an eye. Known by its disease. Calls to the children, c’mon kids, they slunch off into the night. Bridget thought for sure she saw something over there.

Still Eating Oranges

Little old Billy was playing and he fell down a hole, a big hole, deeper than anyone knew. He fell for a long time into a strange place, where houses were inside-out and animals were purple. It was hard to live there. Billy, Billy fell into the garden of a man who could speak forwards, backwards and diagonally. He had rainbow petunias that Billy ran through, and Ms. Clock kept ringing, ringing but no one understood. Billy got out of the confusion, no one could believe it, the people all looked like stardust…

In dreams, things are different.

Still Eating Oranges

Bad Horrible Comics presents:
Jugboy the hitman horse.
Still Eating Oranges

Bad Horrible Comics presents:

Jugboy the hitman horse.

Still Eating Oranges

When the butcher went missing no one knew what to think. “Hmm,” said Mr. O’Bannion. He asked the butcher’s wife but she hadn’t seen him, and the blacksmith but he was odd and unhelpful. Later Mr. O’Bannion stood on the street corner in the dead starry night, pipe in his hand smoking, street lamp overhead flickering, dogs nearby barking, a slow vehicle moving past. “A-ha!” he said.

That morning Mr. O’Bannion went to the blacksmith and told him to cough up the blacksmith: the wiley butcher had swallowed him whole and taken his place! No one had expected the blacksmith to be a pretend person. The blacksmith and butcher went back to their jobs and Mr. O’Bannion smoked his pipe at the end.

Still Eating Oranges