MAGNOLIA

I wrote some ‘fiction’. And it’s all true. Warning: Includes Elstree, rhubarb and the cock of Christ.

Short story commissioned as ‘Fast Fiction’ by top men’s fashion magazine, HERO.

Theme: suburbia. (Sorry about the Bieber.)

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MAGNOLIA

He liked to compare himself to the Puriri ghost moth, a creature that survives in a cocoon for decades until it finally burrows out to explore the world. Except this moth only lives for twenty-four hours. And it spends that day fucking. After which it dies. The ghost moth doesn’t even have a mouth, selfish little slut that it is. It doesn’t even eat.

Luke was obsessed by UFOS. When extraterrestrial biological particles and signs of potential alien life were discovered near his hometown, he fucked me harder than he ever had before, excited that now Wakefield would become known for more than rhubarb.

‘If you travelled all the way from another planet, would you really drop in on Yorkshire?’

‘Rather than the home of Big Brother?’

A low blow.

I grew up in Elstree long before it was elevated from a dystopian Hertfordshire suburb to housing an Orwellian televisual freak show. Since 1984 my mother shielded my brother and I from reality, fabricating little lies to make life more interesting. According to her, all couples residing in Hartfield Avenue would divorce in reverse numerological order. When the curse reached our door, Number 13, it was our parents’ turn to split. They did. She was also convinced that the neighbourhood had the highest ratio of twins owing to the drinking water, and told everyone that I was a reincarnation of Elvis, as I was born on the day he very much left the building. When I was old enough to inform her that I wasn’t born in August 1977, she told me it takes a month to reincarnate.

When I ‘broke away’ (as us North of London Jews call it), Luke and I moved to Buenos Aires. He packed with him a belief that the Wakefield visitation provided him with an aura of cosmic dust that now shaped everything he did.

He started tattooing himself, but never finished the inkings. A beardless Jesus stretched from his groin to his left nipple, its inky handlebar moustache making Luke look permanently sketchy, and the son of God look like an Argentine hippie. My favourite game was coaxing his cock towards Christ’s mouth – and then making Jesus weep.

I looked up at his lopsided tattoo. ‘When I first met you,’ he used his mouth to say the loveliest things, ‘it was like going to the premiere of a film you’ve been dying to watch for ages, but soon realising it’s the worst thing you have ever seen. Then they lock the doors, strap you down, force your eyes open – and set the cinema on fire.” OK, thanks for that. “But then you buy the DVD, revisit it three times and work out it’s your favourite film ever. You’re Magnolia.’

I’ve still never seen Magnolia, but know that frogs fall from the sky.

Captivated by paranormal activity, Luke always hoped that one day he would be abducted by an intelligent life form. He just never imagined they would come when he was going down on me.

There’s nothing that confirms a fight-or-flight response more than when a drunk, ecstatic woman spread open on her own bed, finds herself entered – against her will – by the sudden arrival of three light beams from an unfathomable source.

Fight, apparently.

I stepped out of myself and went into autopilot. Blinded, the silhouette of his shaft looking alien against the white rays, Luke knew that his time had finally come (before I had, by the way). So he cried with joy. Until he realised we were at gunpoint.

Three armed men were in our apartment. Naked attempts to force them out resulted in violent displays of badge-flashing, general flashing, probing – and our passports being confiscated. They were military policemen. There had been a call about a disturbance. They sneered at Luke’s rapidly deflating cosmic dust.

‘Please, sir, cover yourself.’

Luke picked his pants up from the floor and wiped Jesus. Big Brother had indeed been listening to us.

Soon after, he stopped kissing me anywhere. Like the ghost moth, he became all trousers and no mouth. He wouldn’t even eat rhubarb.

Read more: http://www.hero-magazine.com/downloads/HERO13/HERO13_FAST_FICTION_LORES_G24.pdf

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