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Showing posts from April, 2013

Art Pact 263 - Shallow Talk

At the edge of the beach, staring up at the land, stood a heavily-armoured fish. It was lying in the shallows, huffing air over its gills and trying to breath. The air was incredibly cold, and every time the fish gaped its mouth it felt a shock of ice passing through its mouth and throat. It was unsure whether the air was doing anything for it - it was still alive, but every minute or so a larger wave washed up the shore, pushing warm water over it.

"Is it working?" called a voice from further out.

"Not sure," gasped the armoured fish.

It shifted awkwardly from side to side, evening out the pressure on its fore-fins. Its actual fins were splayed out on the sand, the weight of its body (not inconsiderable) taken by the heavier bones further up the limbs. It flapped its tail, pushing it a few millimetres further up the sand. It had been doing this every so often for the last few hours, pushing itself an infinitesimal distance with each Herculean effort, and it had go…

Art Pact 262 - Tombs

"This is all very well," she says to me, brushing the sand out of her hair, "but it's not really getting us any further in there"--she gestures towards the opening to the crypt, which is still covered by the carved stone block.

"Look. Do you really want to go in there?" I ask.

"Of course I want to go in there. It's the whole reason I came here."

It's not the whole reason she came here, and I know it. And she knows that I know, and I know that, of course, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell you. But we haven't yet crossed that line, the line where she admits to me that she came here to seek revenge as well as fame, and I admit to her that I know that, that I've known it all along, that anyone who met her during her voyage has a good chance of having worked it out too, that it is, as they refer to them, an open secret.

"I came here to get my place in the department by being the first person into the tomb and b…

Art Pact 261 - Winnowing

When there were just three of them left, Rama's composure began to slip. It stared to its left, at the ragged hole in the earth where Cospid had been, and its outer tendrils writhed with a nervous energy that caused them to brush against Laxi.

"Stop that!"

Rama said nothing.

"Stop that!" Laxi repeated. "Stop it this instant!"

"Sorry," said Rama, its voice shaky. "It's - look, maybe I was wrong. Maybe this is something bad."

"We told you that," called Polis.

"I know, it's just-"

"Cospid told you that," said Laxi.

"I know, I know. Where's Cospid gone? One moment it was there, the next moment: nothing! I didn't expect that. I thought there'd be some warning. I thought I'd see something."

"I thought you said there was nothing to worry about."

Rama twisted back to look a Laxi, bowing down with an expression of shame.

"I thought it was lying, like it always di…