2018-06-22 19:45 short-story elixir Benjamin Brood


The plains were covered with bells which chimed at more or less the same time. Tied to each was a rope that was strung through a complex series of relays, taught, vibrating. Men, no more than skeletons, walked along these lines tasting the ropes, licking slowly, to ascertain their fitness. When the bells rang they scattered like frightened vermin. The sound echoed across a barren landscape of a thousand miles. With the impact of sound every grovel, ditch and pile of rock lost the thin coating of dust that had accrued. Standing here the system of ropes looks like a web, by an absent spider, who spun out of some obsessive desperation. From my pocket I take an egg, wrapped in golden foil, and carefully remove the skin — saving each irregularly sized shred to place back into the opposite pocket. Biting into the top of the egg I encounter the slightest resistance from a membranous sheath that must've served a purpose, I don't know what. The meat of it almost dissolved. Then the yolk, a subtler, velvety texture mixed with this, became dominant. The waning of the yolk soon became the beginning, as if the last bite was the first bite. The start is the end, the end is the start I think.