That Night, a Forest Grew

The dead body was covered in a blanket. It lay in the middle of the silken road, with winds of strawberry breath licking its corners.

I worried about the blanket. It must feel cold, I thought, like a traveller when he loses his fanny pack. I went out a little after midnight and put my hot-water bottle on it, empty, but, I hoped, some comfort.

My mother has a notebook in which she writes her moods. Sometimes she will wake up in the middle of the night to scribble one down. With the years, she has developed more and more words to convey nuances, to keep herself from being bored. ‘Mauve’, ‘flooky’, ‘trundling’, ‘wabbergusting’. This night, they have been ‘roccoco’ before she went to bed, and ‘twangy’ and ‘diffy’ afterwards.

Sometimes I play in my little lab and brew bicycles. I haven’t got the colours down yet. A megaphone in my lab will tell me when I do. My father sells them to buy rum for us to have at dinner.