I have always dreamed of flying. I run along the street with my arms outstretched pretending I am a great swan flying back home for the summer.

When I sleep I dream of tropical islands and clear waters in which I swim, always being pulled down by the currents and just as I think I will drown I wake in my bed. Here in Lamoux. Ghasping for oxygen.

I know very little. My mother she washes the glasses at the Cafe Babel. I go there and sit quietly helping her or going on errands with Francois the barman. I hear the stories of all the customers. The foreigners and their tales of ships and adventure. The Pilgrims. The Soldiers. The Locals. All of them slowly getting drunk and telling more fantastic stories as the night progresses. I know who the kind ones are and I know who to stay well away from. A man came in not long ago, one eye a blurry scar. The other eye a milky blue. He gave me a small silk cravat. I showed it to my mother. she quickly grabbed it from me and returned it to the man. He nodded and smiled at her and slowly drank his cup. He assured me no harm was meant. My mother told me this man was no good. I asked her why and she quickly walked away.


I am visited by so many every day. With so many questions. Questions of Love, Fortune, Death. I have made great wealth by holding up the mirror of the future to the people of Lamoux. None ever ask how they can help out the people around them. It is solely self centered questions of wealth and how to make it. Of love and how to acquire it. Of revenge and how to exact it. Or else it is the poor souls whom wear the dark cloak of guilt whom ask how to cut themselves free from the ball and chain that they themselves placed around their leg.

I invite them through into my little room, lit by candles and I sit them by the fire. I sit them down and tell them not to say a word for a full five minutes. Just to look into the coals. They then must tell me the shapes they see. The forms that appear. Then they tell me their question. How do I keep my husband from finding out I love another? How do I grow more wealthier than a king? how do i sleep now I have killed? I then tell them what the shapes and forms in the hot coals meant. And give them the best advise I can.

My lover was once a customer who asked the last two questions. only they were not in that order.

He came, one day in a great state, this young man. Scared. Sweat covered. Frightened. He did as I said. and told me what he had done.

He had killed a man. The guilt was killing him. I asked him why. He said the man was dying anyway, he had come to him for help. He had merely washed him of his sins. Skimmed his clothes for money. And Killed him.

I told this man what the shapes meant and he left. Feeling better. But as I expected. he came back the following the next week. A changed man. It was as if he had forgotten about the murder that he had committed. Then he asked me how he could grow rich. He looked at the fire and told me all he could see where circles. I then told him not to stop anything that he wasn’t already doing. He then smiled, and threw himself on top of me. Me an old woman. Ugly. Unwashed. He coupled with me with such fury I was at first frightened. Then I matched his prowess with my own and afterwards he laughed and left. He returns once a week, every Sunday night and he climbs on top of me with the energy of youth itself. He is my lover. My Daniel.


In the middle of Lamoux sits the zoo. I go there to see the Lions. They remind me of what this country is. Something grand and unique trapped between the iron bars of France and Germany. The people agree. Yet we will never rise up. we are too busy hating one another, too busy falling in love with one another. Too busy lusting after one another.

The zoo is free to visit, so the poor are often their with their children, dressed in their stained blouses and shorts. wearing their cardboard shoes, or if they are lucky wooden clogs. They walk amongst the rich, the rich who carry baskets full of expensive food and wine in which they eat in the park beside the Zoo which is as old as the inner city. The trees that stand there have seen more days of Lamoux’s happiness and sorrow than anyone can remember. The park like the city is divided by a river. brown by day, black by night. A great river called the Inkon which is filled with boats during the summer and autumn leaves during the winter.

When a body has been found within the Inkon’s water the poor will line its banks hoping for a glimpse or an interview with a slow moving journalist for a few coins.

A body was found not two days ago. This time it was different. This time it was not only the poor that lined the banks, it was a far greater crowd, the rich on their way to the zoo were there also. Picnic hampers beneath their arms. I was there on my way to my sister’s house to buy soap. I have no mind at gawping at death’s work but what I heard was enough to spark the interest of any inhabitant of Lamoux.


~ by yesknow on August 1, 2010.

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