3 Stories

by Delray Prong

Blind Date with Medusa

The gaze of the Medusa was refreshingly non-toxic. "Can I help you?" she asked.

"Yes, I'd like a cherry pop-tart, and my cat would like a bowl of milk with the world in it."

"I'm not your waitress," she replied. I realized that she was my blind date.

After the floor show, we talked about religion. Our fortune cookies arrived on a bed of Romaine lettuce, with a beautiful hemp garnish. Her cookie said:

Soon you will meet a man with a hose.
Mine said:
You do not understand the forces of ignorance that rule your life.
We left the restaurant without disturbing anyone. There was no need to alert the authorities, and people actually smiled at us. The Barbiehead in my stomach slept quietly. We went to Medusa's house and shared our ignorance. It was bliss.

A Date with Time

We spent several hours exploring the popular idiom. Her mouth tasted better than mine, repeatedly. The sounds of a mandolin ribboned through my ears, wild floss charged by lightning: zing descending in a paroxysm of yes: zing and shiver. She was all warmth and electricity.

After she left, I sat in my difficult chair, determined to ignore the clock behind me. Tick. No. Tick. No.

Then one of the clock's hands fell heavily on my shoulder. My heartbeat sounded like pulverized chrysanthemums.

I turned and tried to stare down the clockface. I was sure that I could make it blink. But its face so resembled mine, also a repository of misspent time.

Trying to stare down the clock was like trying to stare down my own face in the mirror. I kept looking away a split second sooner; lightspeed and back.

The zing and shiver receded within, beyond the night and the music and the feel of her touch on my skin. Grayness rose up from the horizon, and the worms turned in the soil, eating dirt and liking it. The clock ticked again.

I heard it.


Some people are so well-rounded that they have to sleep in bowls. I saw them gathering in the park, one big happy family, and then they began to clean each other with their feathery tongues. It was sordid, and also touching.

Me? I was on my way to meet with a Master of Levitation. I had seen his name on the "Community Bulletin Board" at the grocery store:

- HEY YOU!! -
Yes, you!
Learn levitation from an ancient master. No hidden charges!
I have been levitating at will for over 400 years, and now
you, too, can learn the ancient wisdom of upwardness. Call
Ignacio Caldron, Master of Levitation, at xxx-xxxx. Must
provide own transportation and towel.

I was on my way to my first lesson, with my towel in hand. What was the towel for? Would I use it as a turban?

Then I noticed that there was something inside my towel. It was a glass jar filled with water and little sea horses swimming around. Sea monkeys? Huh? What? I noticed that every time I thought of a question, another sea horse appeared in the jar. Their tails and heads curled like tiny question marks in a Sea of Inquisition. I opened the jar and drank it, sea horses and all, and then I dumped the jar in a garbage can. It was not the kind of thing that I wanted to bring to levitation class. I noticed that my towel was slightly damp, and I had a sinking feeling. No further questions.

Copyright 1995
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