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Fiction Issue 5

[MARC ISAAC POTTER]

Bowie

The imitation Bowie knife, created by hand that is to say handcrafted by the lanky man who wears a stunningly beautiful pink brooch on his collarbone as though it were a military applique.

The knife is going from his hand, he’s throwing it. He’s standing in the doorway of our protagonist’s room and he’s throwing the knife in a very fierce, unforgiving path toward our protagonist who, so far, has no name.

There was a man. He had two legs although not all men have two legs. This man loved coffee very very much, especially all day long, even late at night he could not sleep without a cup of coffee. If he didn’t get his coffee he would get a big headache. …The man wore a blue shirt, even though blue was not his favorite color, because he found an entire box full of sturdy blue shirts for a really exceptional price at the Goodwill store.

The knife is taking forever to fly through the air so it can embed itself in the shoulder blade of our protagonist whom we will soon give a name, let’s call him Caspian.

Caspian is a man with a developmental disability. He has several guardian angels with bad breath. Halitosis in varying degrees of severity permanently dwells in the mouths of his seven guardian angels. …Harold is one of the most nerdy of the guardian angels: he was gargling when Caspian was under attack by the tall lanky man wearing a pink brooch, to whom I have referred to either before, during, or after this paragraph.

This man, Caspian Alders, is a big admirer of the surrealist Manifesto of Andre Breton. Even so his culture demands he write realism. He is standing in his room. He lives in a room with green…w- w- walls in a house with a lot of other people. …Please do not say anything in this story that is not related to realism.

His coffee cup is round, it has a handle; this large red coffee cup is made of happy yet stubborn porcelain just like most other coffee cups of this era. Caspian could not find the coffee cup he really wanted so he bought the closest thing and then he painted a yellow splotch onto the side of the coffee cup because he loves the color yellow.

Once the imitation Bowie knife embedded itself in Caspian’s shoulder, he fled because of the sharp robust pain. This lightning-high degree of pain was born, screaming and blood-wet through the force of the knife; very few people think that a knife has the force to knock you over but the combination of the force of the knife—because the tall man with the pink brooch was quite muscular, quite forceful, he had been a boxer…he had been a weightlifter, he had been a fry cook, and he had been a waiter although he didn’t like being a waiter. The man with blue eyes, that tall, lanky man who threw the knife, had a very clean mouth because his brother-in-law was an insatiable dentist who demanded that everybody in his sphere of influence have super white, super clean, super flossed, super brushed teeth, and that they gurgle-y-gurgle constantly.

The knife went through Caspian’s shoulder blade with such force that it cracked the bone. Blood was surprisingly quick to respond, gushing out of his back, more gushing out of the front of wound, both back and front, quite efficiently ruining his blue shirt, forcing him to the ground as though he’d been hit by a car. Caspian fell in the worst way, his head against the corner of his desk. He died instantly.

Please remember this story must have a protagonist, hence our Caspian Alders, and it must have what else?

There was a tree out in Caspian’s yard.

So if Caspian is dead, who is the protagonist of the story? Is the story over? Does Caspian’s brother Napoleon decide to come by two days after Caspian was killed…quite into the floor of his room in the Board and Care home? Or did Napoleon’s half-sister Ruby, unrelated to Caspian in a complicated way, decide to come by and give him his favorite pastrami sandwich only to find him dead on the floor with blood and blood?

Our Napoleon was sad; he looked down at the dashboard of his 1961 Chevy Impala and simply cried while sitting in the driver’s seat of his red Impala for the loss of his dear brother Caspian. Ruby as it turns out was in the trunk of his car tied up. Napoleon and his sister Ruby had a big fight and Napoleon had had enough and what is a brother supposed to do to teach his sister a lesson? Is Napoleon the man who threw the knife at Caspian? Could it be possible Caspian’s death was a family feud?

And what about our guardian angels? I have dispatched a team of dentists and halitosis experts to hang with the guardian angels to clean up their act so they can be part of the story. I have made it very clear and I have even therefore demanded that if the guardian angels don’t clean up a little bit: wash up, take a shower, brush their teeth, shave, get haircuts, dye their hair, maybe put on their Hollywood makeup. Otherwise they cannot participate in this story.

Napoleon was jealous of Caspian because Caspian, with his developmental disability, was given a certain amount of favoritism both by their mother through lots of affection and by their father who left a higher percentage of money to Caspian for his care for the rest of his life than he did to his two relatives: Napoleon and remember the sister Ruby who is oddly unrelated to Caspian?

Do we dare introduce an old boring trope in which Napoleon had a twin brother who was adopted out to a different family…? That brother whose name was Benito as in Benito Mussolini (let’s not be too obvious)…yet we must—at the very least tangentially—let’s please be very obvious because people nowadays (really people nowadays?)…want hints, people want and need “obvious”…people want realism.

Caspian’s last thoughts as he bled out were beautiful. He didn’t see a white light but he did see yellow. He saw the yellow arches of McDonald’s and dreamed of having an extra helping of fries. Caspian was just three days away from finally getting his passport to time travel, but three days is still three days and because of this knife attack, he died completely.

The people who managed the group home where Caspian Alders had happily lived…and all the other residents of the group home, had never actually had somebody die so completely before this. People were very curious, sad, and interested…Several people had to call their parole officers, their therapists, their case workers, because of the shock. A lot of police cars responded to the actual death which was ruled a murder even before he got to the M.E.’s office. Caspian, may he rest in peace, is not an angel, he’s a dead body; there is a whole stadium full of maggots who saw the murder. How and why is that possible, since Mr. Alderson was killed inside, the Board and Care, not out back in these gentle serene woods, where he might have laid decomposing…for weeks, for…nonetheless, the maggots—yes, denied a delicious meal—are clapping and appreciating his body.

[about]

Marc Isaac Potter (they/them) is a differently-abled writer living in the SF Bay Area. Marc’s interests include blogging by email and Zen. They have been published in Fiery Scribe Review, Feral A Journal of Poetry and Art, Poetic Sun Poetry, and Provenance Journal. Twitter is @marcisaacpotter.

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