CRACKED FABLES // The Fox and the Hole

“And keep in mind. We do not sell watches. We sell happiness. That should be the main message when you talk to your clients.”

The Fox underlined this last sentence. He then pursed his lips, thought a bit more, and underlined another one. Then another. The lead in his pencil snapped. I guess the class is finished for now, he thought. He put the pencil down.

Everyone was crowded near the tribune where Coach was gathering papers. They vied with one another for his attention, their questions overlapping until the classroom was filled with a burble of noise. I guess I won’t be getting any one-on-one time with Coach today. Grimacing to himself, the Fox stood up and went to the door.

The Fox had it in mind to go and put these newly learned sales principles into practice. There was no time like the present, right? No one else was going to make his dreams come true. A flock of Rams was feeding in the meadow next door, and probably didn’t suspect how unhappy they really were. Silly Rams!

The Fox had walked not twenty paces down the road before a realisation struck. Of course! These Rams are my new clients! He did a one-eighty turn and made a direct beeline for them. The light bulb above his head had now morphed into a giant dollar sign. He was going to make himself happy by making them happy.

Look at them! thought the Fox, tutting in the most patronising manner. Those poor saps stand there bleating, chewing grass, pooing pellets, and mindlessly dangling their balls in thistle come rain or come shine. Dont they know theyre standing at the threshold of real bliss and happiness? Of sheer greatness?!

“Dear Rams!” No. That sounded far too official for the occasion. He didn’t need to be like Winston Churchill ordering a cream bun at a county stall. He needed to ingratiate himself, to make everyone think he was one of them. “Comrades in arms!” No. That sounded worse. “Comrades in Rams!” Shit. He needed to stop and think…

Another light bulb appeared above the Fox’s head. He smiled a slightly devilish smile then, drawing a big gulp of air into his lungs, and solemnly declared, “Gentlemen Rams! I have an offer one cannot refuse. And today, I give it exclusively to you. Are you ready to change your life right now?” Curious, the Rams looked up from their turfy repast. One even dropped some extra pellets, but this could have been an unrelated event.

“Behold!” The Fox hoisted one of the fob watches above his head. It dangled from his paw like a tiny, new-born star, twinkling so invitingly in the fawning light of day. The Rams glanced at the trinket with complete indifference then poked their muzzles back into the manure again. There was another emission of pellets somewhere but that still could have been unrela— Oh, who was he kidding? The Fox knew they were being disrespectful. Bloody Rams!

After some more strategising, the Fox decided to change his tactics. Accidentally on purpose, he addressed the Ram nearest him: “Well met, sir. Pray, would you be so kind as to tell me the time?” He was sure that this tricky plan would work, and that the Ram would realise how bleak and poor his life was sans timepiece. The fob watches would surely fly at that point. They’d be sold quicker than the sweetest sweets at a Willy Wonka convention.

Nope. That fool Ram stuck his nose back into the dirt, chewing like there was no tomorrow. And not just chewing, mind you — actively and obnoxiously masticating! It was as if he was grinding that grass down to prove a point. Evidently, grass was worth more to the Ram than all the glittering mountains of timekeeping devices in the known universe. The Ram turned his butt towards the Fox and gurked. Yup. They’re definitely taking the piss.

The Fox decided to change his approach again. “I heard that the Lion issued an ordinance today! He said that everyone in the forest should have watches, that otherwise they would be immediately gobbled up by the Hyena Guard!” All of the Rams looked at him, and still — it has to be said — somewhat nonplussed. Deliberately, and oh so very slowly, they all reached into their woolly folds and withdrew ‘pieces’ that were clearly not of the time-telling variety. Hm, thought the Fox. Note to self: Look into the weapons manufacturing business. Might be some excellent opportunities for cash flow there!

Suddenly, there was a tap on his shoulder. The Fox turned to see one of the older Rams peering back at him with wise, sad eyes. The Ram baaed with a deep voice: “We can’t wear pocket watches, moron. We have no pockets.” The Fox blinked to himself. Then where the hell were they storing their guns? It didn’t make sense! Maybe the Rams just didn’t want what he was selling.

The older Ram turned to the flock. “Let’s go home, brothers and sisters. It’s too hard to be good amid the temptations of this world. And the low air pressure is too much.” The Rams holstered their weapons then raised their hooves to the sky. “Baaa-aaa-aaack to the Mountain!” they cried as one. “Baaa-aaa-aaack to the Holy Mountain!” Oh, god. They were fools. Lost sheep.

The Fox opened his notebook and leafed through the pages. What would Coach do in this situation? He searched and searched, but it appeared that the option of someone refusing to buy watches wasn’t even a possibility. Coach wouldn’t have entertained this notion because, of course, who in their right mind would refuse such an amazing deal? If the Fox paid Coach a mere twenty dollars a pop for them, surely he could resell them for fifty? Who wouldn’t want one for a measly fifty? Easy peasy!

And so it was that the Fox planted himself at the very centre of the meadow, right between the heaps of manure and chamomiles, his thought processes radiating so intensely as to be almost audible. What would Coach do? What would Coach do? And it appeared as though the heavens themselves were listening to his impassioned supplications because no sooner had the Fox raised his eyes from the ground when the Coach roared past in a shiny new cabriolet. This surely had to be some kind of sign!

Sitting next to Coach was a young, pretty weasel, and for some reason the Fox felt compelled to throw himself at the car. Probably to intercept it or to serve himself up as an offering. Perhaps he was having a religious experience. Who knows? What’s certain is that the Fox was almost made a martyr beneath the wheels.

“Coach! Coach! I have a very important question!”

The car braked sharply. Red-faced, Coach jumped out and shouted, “Are you a moron?!” Obviously, he was very angry. “Seriously, man, are you tired of living?” The Fox ignored the fact that he was being called a moron for the second time in mere minutes, and approached Coach with the same fervour and reverence that a starving man would an oasis of cheeseburgers.

“Coach! Coach! If a client says, ‘No!’ then what should I do?” Coach looked at the Fox with a slight unease in his eyes, letting loose an involuntary nervous snicker. “Oh, you’re one of my trainees, aren’t you…” he muttered almost disbelievingly through gritted teeth. This ‘acolyte’ was just standing there looking at him in wordless expectation, all clingy and earnest and… well, needlessly needy. Who wants needy? Not Coach! “Ahhh… ahem… A refusing client is a dead client. Utterly worthless.” And, just like that, Coach was back in his car hitting the gas pedal… leaving the Fox to choke on his dust.

And so it was that the Fox still found himself standing at the very centre of the meadow, his head buzzing with confusion. What the hell now? he thought. A dead client? This made no sense. Was the Fox meant to take these words to his bosom and treasure them forever and ever, amen? He sat there deep into the night, not feeling one iota of wisdom in those words, or indeed any reassurance. There was simply no comfort or revelation to be had. The words of Coach pulsated in the juddering walls of his mind like bees in a fever dream. A refusing client is a dead client. Utterly worthless. Dead. Dead. So pointlessly dead.

The decision was made somewhere close to morning. The Fox rose from his dark thoughts and ambled off somewhere for a while. When he came back, the sun was high in the sky and there was a huge shovel in his paws. If he really put his back into it, the hole would be ready in a couple of hours. And so he did. And so it was. And then the Fox dusted himself off with much satisfaction. He masked the hole with branches and grass before sneaking off to wait behind a large yet inconspicuous shrub.

The following events came thick and fast. Really, the poor Rams had no chance. No time to react or even reel. Lured by the promise of more springy, delicious grass to chew, they were quick to fall into the hole that had been dug expressly for them. In a state of panic they all fired their guns into the air, hoping to achieve who knows what outcome but only succeeding in having a rain of bullets fall back down on their heads. Their cries of “Baaa-aaa-aaack to the Mountain!” were cut short, and it was at this point that the Fox whipped out his cell phone and called a fur trader. Oh my, what a massacre!

Later that afternoon, the Fox stood beside a huge rack showcasing many sublime ‘fur’ coats. You’ve got pockets now, buddy! he thought smugly. Who’s the real moron here, huh? By the time normal trading hours ended, one could say that he had made another ‘killing — a figurative one anyway. He was now in possession of more cash than one could wave a platinum credit card at.

When the Fox was leaving the store, he noticed a small stand full of watches. These were the ones that Coach had been selling for twenty bucks earlier in the day, but for some strange reason each now costed only five. And so the Fox took a gun from his newly acquired secret stash and went to find Coach. He was going to have that lady weasel for himself, and his last words to Coach would be: “I have an offer you cannot refuse.”


© All rights reserved 2018

MMORPB // Tati & Tony in Raiders of the Lost Snark (Moderately Multiplayer Online Role Playing Book 18+)

“Hey, Tati. Do you like interactive stuff?”

“What? Cooperative staff? What do you mean?” Tati blinked in confusion.

“Stuff you can interact with. Like a knob or Rubik’s Cube.”

“Hmm… knob. I sense a trick.” She narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “Do you want to beep my nose again?”

“Could I?” Tony’s mouth broke into a sly grin. “Although that’s more like a button really, not a knob.”

Tati wrinkled her nose in distaste. “Tony, I won’t fall for this shit again. You and your speculative staff!”

Now Tony blinked. “Well, I’ve never heard it called that before…”

“What? These were your words! You asked me if I like copulative staff only a moment ago. I’m not crazy. I know what I heard!”

“Actually, I was referring to ‘CYOA’ books. My knob… erm… knobs in general… erm… staffs… Shit. Let’s just say Rubik’s Cubes.” Tony pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. “Look, I was just using these as examples of things that could be interacted with…”

Tati stared at him. He slumped his shoulders and said sheepishly to himself, “Damn. I’ve become a dirty old man, haven’t I? I always promised myself that wouldn’t happen.”

“C’mon you! Old ass!”

Tony blinked again. “Hey, hey, hey! No need to get insulting!”

“‘CYOA’ books! Doesn’t this mean ‘C’mon you! Old ass!’ books?”

“No, it really doesn’t. Please, Tati, do save me from your endless guessing, okay? Let me put you out of your misery.”

“Well, you can try. But, please, without your silly euphemisms like ‘knobs’. I’m a big girl. You can say ‘interactive dick’ if what you mean is ‘interactive dick’.”

“Good lord. Now you’ve got me blushing…” And he really was!

“Well, out with it!” She tapped her foot on the tiled floor, impatient.

“Erm… yes. ‘CYOA’ means ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.”

“With dicks?”

“NO! Not with dicks! What’s wrong with you? This isn’t an adult version of ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ y’know!”

“Such a pity. Okay, so what is it?”

“It was a series of children’s books that began in the seventies. Each story was written from a second-person point of view, and each section of the story would end with a list of choices for how it could progress.” Tony was in full professorial mode now. He was so cute when he got like this. “You could be a pirate, an astronaut, or even an investment banker. Actually, I don’t think there ever was one with an investment banker in it…”

“Tony, stop your verbal flood. Couldn’t you have said just one word at the start?”

“Actually, that’d be in the list of choices. ‘If you decide to listen to Tony’s lengthy, long-winded explanation, thus running the risk of slipping into a coma, turn to page 17. If you decide to convince him to use fewer words, thus saving yourself valuable drinking time, turn to page 21. If you decide to slap him in the face with a wet fish, turn to page 34.’”

“WOW! And what will happen if I jump right to page 45?”

“Then the story won’t make any sense! You can’t just go skipping pages!”

“Tony, actually I’m teasing you. I understood almost three hours ago what you’ve been saying about gamebooks.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“I’ve never read such books, but I suppose it could be fun. So, what is your idea?”

“Well, I was thinking that you and I could try writing one of our very own…”

“So, why are we still sitting here beating the air? Let’s write!”

Tony blinked, then smiled. “Hang on. How are we going to do this? Should I come over to your place and we can write there? Or you come over to mine?”


© All rights reserved 2018

GUEST POST // Tati & Tony are Interviewed by Rain

Dear Readers, we were recently interviewed by the amazing Rain. No, not the weather phenomenon. By a person with that name who runs an awesome blog that you can check out over here. Rain is one of the most enthusiastic people weve ever met, and it sure shows in the following exchange! So, please feel free to just sit back, relax, and enjoy!

RAIN: My first question is the most basic one — how long have you been writing — together or individually? I mean, when did… how… how did it all start? Who came up with the idea of this awesomeness that is You have GOT TO TELL ME THE DETAILS! You see, this is the ONE QUESTION I dont intend on carrying unanswered to my grave.

TONY: Hi, Rain, I must say your enthusiasm is quite infectious! I can tell already that were going to have a lot of fun with this interview. Thanks for inviting us along for the ride!

TATI: Should I open my umbrella? It looks like theres rain in the room.

TONY: Naw, more like a sun shower! Anyway, lets answer your question, Rain…

TATI: Okay, confession relieves guilt. I should admit that there I was, little old me, and that I founded Unbolt Me (just Unbolt initially) somewhere in the middle of July 2014. Not so long after, I started to write. This also happened after I started to learn English. Tony, how long have you been learning English?

TONY: For my whole life actually. Even though I live in a country where English is the official language, I tend to revert to Gibberish on an alarmingly regular basis.

TATI: By the way, I recently saw a saying: “You can learn a foreign language in a short period, but your native tongue is something youll learn for your entire life.”

TONY: I dont even know a foreign language, so youre one step ahead of me, Tati. Anyway, I should probably answer this question a bit too.

TATI: Yes, my rattle-brained friend.

TONY: What can I say? Hm. Well, Ive been writing since I was a child — writing and drawing to be precise. So, yeah, Id been making comics for quite some time before I began my webcomic Crumble Cult in January 2012. And then I stumbled onto Tatis site in… Hm. When was that, Tati?

TATI: It was in the middle of October 2014. But its me who found you.

TONY: Oh, thats right! You were leaving comments on various posts, yes? And then I began to correspond with you via your own comments section, then via email, and then through Messenger. Thats when I asked if I could work with you on a shared site, and its at this point that you invited me on board Unbolt Me. Needless to say, I accepted, and we havent looked back since!

TATI: Nope, I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award.

TONY: And then the commenting and corresponding and joining of forces happened?

TATI: Men. You never remember things. What is my name, Tony?

TONY: Your name is like a song on my lips.

TATI: Enough flattery. My name?

TONY: Oh, look at the pretty clouds!

TATI: See? The proof is in the pudding. Shall we move to your next question, Rain?

RAIN: Uhhh… okay, so now Id like to know exactly what techniques you apply in the elaborate process of rat-cleaning? Cause I gotta say, I have LOTS of em here and I can do with a few tips.

TONY: Actually, I dont do much rat cleaning at all — none, in fact. I play the avoidance game. Its worked pretty well so far!

TATI: I prefer one stick and nine holes.

TONY: One stick and nine holes? I take it that isnt a golfing reference?

TATI: Nope.

TONY: So, what does it mean?

TATI: Have you read Selma Lagerlöf, Tony?

TONY: I dont believe I have.

TATI: I believe you love Swedish literature.

TONY: I do?

TATI: Pippi Longstocking? Karlsson-on-the-Roof?

TONY: Ive heard of the first. Not the second.

TATI: Tony, Tony… What did you read when you were a child?

TONY: Comics of course!

TATI: I hope you know Tove Jansson at least.

TONY: I LOVE Tove Jansson! Moomintrolls anyone? Theyre the freaking coolest!

TATI: It is a part of Swedish literature, isnt it?

TONY: I thought she was Finnish…

TATI: Yes, and she was a Swedish-speaking (and writing) author.

TONY: Oh! I see! So, what does this have to do with the art of rat cleaning in cellars?

TATI: In no way. Next question.

RAIN: I was soo fucking giddy by the time I finished reading your essay on Immortality. You write stupendously, Tati, I gotta say. And Id be honored to hear your thoughts on Stars. You know, I have always been fascinated by things gloriously out of my reach and your writings vibrate with the same depth. So I was wondering if you could tell me your thoughts — be they a few lines — on those bright twinkly heavenly eyes?

TATI: Oh, thank you, Rain. Im still not used to praise regarding my writings. I still wanted to turn round to find whomever you were appealing to! Im pretty curious about stars too. (I hope you meant not celebrities?)

TONY: No, she definitely meant the sparkly, burning kind.

TATI: Good. So, Im pretty sure stars are just freckles on the skys nose.

TONY: God, I love your mind.

TATI: Everything looks cuter with freckles. Thats why the sky needs stars.

TONY: Well, at least this answer makes more sense than the last one…

TATI: Oh my god, Tony! It was about a magic pipe!

TONY: What the hell are you talking about?!

TATI: The Piped Pier! Yuck! Pied Pipper! Damn. Tony, dont piss me off!

TONY: Good grief.

TATI: Im talking about beautiful stars here! The Sun shines, the exposure to UV-B radiation activates melanocytes to increase melanin production, which can cause star freckles on the skys nose. Easy peasy!

TONY: Clearly. Im still unsure of how the Pied Piper of Hamelin ties in with the previous answer, but… well, whatever. Next question.

RAIN: When I first read Lose to Night, I felt like the words on the screen were an echo of something deep inside of me that rakes me to disentangle myself. I felt… ugh… I cant think of the exact word here but lets just say that it felt there was an envelope of darkness surrounding me and the voice inside and the words in front of my eyes was the only light. So, tell me Tony, how YOU cope with these coiling and writhing snakes made of words and feelings too loud to drown under ANY METAL?  Just… just describe it in a few words — how YOU feel?

TONY: This is a great question, Rain. The simple truth is that while Im deep in it, Im not coping — Im kinda crumbling inside. Thats why its critical when in the grip of this that I not make any major, potentially life changing decisions. Much better to just let things be, to sit and know that this always passes. It might be minutes, it might be days, but it always does! ALWAYS.

TATI: This too shall pass.

TONY: Amen.

TATI: Did you try to chop up infants?

TONY: What th—?!

TATI: Sorry, Tony. I was trying to lighten the mood.

TONY: By joking about chopping up babies?!

TATI: I said I was sorry…

TONY: Im not King Solomon for heavens sake. Next question!

RAIN: WUTHERING HEIGHTS — yes or no? (I am asking the both of you.)

If yes, then what are your thoughts on Heathcliff? I mean, ‘PASSIONATE is one word to describe his whole existence, yes, but what about his other… uhh… admirable traits?

If no, then WHY? WHY DONT YOU LIKE IT? You better have a DAMN GOOD reason.

TONY: Admirable traits? Ooh la la! Do tell! Does he have an especially large and formidable hairpiece?

TATI: Nope, Tony. I guess Rain is going crazy about his long tail.

TONY: What?! Since when does he turn into a werewolf? Is this a werewolf book? I assume its a book…

TATI: Of course! It isnt a sofa or plant.

TONY: Maybe we should read it sometime…

TATI: I think it features an orange cat.

TONY: What… like Garfield?

TATI: Yup.

TONY: Its a comic book then? Id read that!

TATI: So, what are our thoughts on Heathcliff?

TONY: Well, if hes a cat then I can understand Rains passionate like of him. Everybody likes cats!

TATI: Except mice.

TONY: Have we answered the question yet?

TATI: Im not sure. There was also something about withering bites, I suppose…

RAIN: What is THE MOST delightfully crazy thing you have done in all your years on this earth? (Tati and Tony — BOTH.)

TATI: I started to write in a foreign language after six months of self-studying. But jumping with a parachute was not bad either.

TONY: Damn, Im boring.

TATI: Tony, I think you can tell how you tried a certain something in Malaysia. Do you remember that tasty cockroach?

TONY: Cockroach? What are you talking about? I ate pizza!

TATI: Wow. Then you really are boring, Tony! We went to the other side of the world and you ate pizza.

TONY: I hope you didnt put cockroaches in it!

TATI: Blessed are those who believe without seeing me (put cockroaches in your pizza).

TONY: Quoting bible verses at me doesnt make it okay, you know!

TATI: Oh, relax your buns, Tony. I didnt put cockroaches in your pizza.

TONY: Whew! I was beginning to think those olives looked rather like bugs…

TATI: It was in your dessert.

RAIN: Tati if you were made the Queen of Saturn, what changes would you bring to the planet to benefit the people (of SATURN, obviously)? Who would you invite to be your Hand (as in The Hand of The Queen GOT).

SAME QUESTION, Tony. How would you handle being the King of Saturn.

Important : The people living there are called… uhhh… That is JUST TOO MUCH PRESSURE FOR MY MIND. You guys name the people, okay? What would you call them?

TONY: Well, theyre from Saturn, so theyd surely be called Satanists, yes?

TATI: Tony, you made a mistake. The word is Saturnists.

TONY: Or is it Satinists? Perhaps they believe Saturns rings to be made of the finest fabric. And by the way, Tati… youre an insufferable smartarse! What would you have them be called?

TATI: Hobbits, of course!

TONY: For the love of kittens… why hobbits?

TATI: Oh, Tony, turn on your tiny mind! Its because they fuss over their rings like Gollum over his precious.

TONY: What a bunch of weirdos.

TATI: And its obvious that Saturns rings are vinyl, so Id order them to always play some good, old-fashioned rock-n-roll. And everything around the rings should wiggle and shake too. Nine, ten, eleven oclock, twelve oclock rock! Were gonna rock around the clock tonight! What else could keep the hobbits happy?

TONY: A breezy saxaphone lick or two perhaps? I know that often lifts my spirits! Imagine it… Hobbits all over the planet, bumping and grinding badonkadonks while blowing horns! Nice!

TATI: Of course, my Hand will be the coolest DJ in the Universe.

TONY: Ooh! Ooh! Can I be your Hand?

TATI: Can you do cool remixes?

TONY: Erm… I can try…

TATI: What else can you do?

TONY: I can… erm, let my hair wave in the wind. Yknow… look all manly and sexy. Maybe.

TATI: Okey dokey. You can be my Hand.

RAIN: oOOOooOoo… That reminds me, are you a Game of Thrones fan? *squeals* And you, Tony? If you guys had a dragon, all at your disposal, who would you burn to ashes? (YOU GOTTA NAME SOMEONE.) And what would you name your personal majestic flying creatures?

TATI: Honestly? Im not a fan of Game of Thrones.

TONY: I remember you telling me this once. Was it far too nihilistic and bloodthirsty for your taste, Tati?

TATI: Im not a moral goody-goody. I just dont care if someone feeds the guts of their friends to dogs, or when a sister fucks a brother.

TONY: And the time that dude got his todger cut off… I almost vomited for a week!

TATI: I take my hat off before Mr. Martin, but its not my cup of tea. I dont think that playing on the lowest, base instincts enriches culture and humanity. Its rather mainstream. But dragons are a different matter!

TONY: Oh my, yes. Dragons! I hope they dont decide to use me as a human toothpick!

TATI: Should I mention their real name?

TONY: The dragons?

TATI: Nope. Who I want to burn to ashes. And please, dont be so dense, Tony. I can change my decision.

TONY: Sweet blubby Jesus. Is that a threat?! I need to change my underwear…

TATI: Do you want to put on fire-resistant pants?

TONY: Do such things exist in the world?

TATI: If you believe in dragons then you should believe in fire-resistant pants. Otherwise… well, you get the point.

TONY: Yeah yeah… I get it. You cant believe in god without believing in the devil, am I right?

TATI: Of course. Everything is balanced. Well, to be serious about the question… no one. Of course, I could mention Pol Pot, Voldemort or Dr. Evil…

TONY: What about Donald Trump?

TATI: Do you want to name your dragon Donald Trump?

TONY: Hells no! I wanna introduce him to my dragon!

TATI: Are you sure your dragon isnt the Republican?

TONY: Yup, Im pretty sure she isnt. Rather, my dragons a pacifist — but shes willing to make an exception for narcissists with bad wigs, delusions of political grandeur and tiny hands.

TATI: Oh, so its ‘she. Actually, I tried to hint at you to leave politics alone.

TONY: Didnt I tell you? My dragons a hermaphrodite, and I cant leave politics alone because his/her favourite snack is politicians.

TATI: And what would you name this poor creature?

TONY: How about some nice unisex name like Bailey McDragonface? That would work.

TATI: Yes, I like it. She will be a nice friend to my Sparky.

RAIN: And what about Lord of The Rings? (BOTH.)

TATI: That sounds better.

TONY: I like the books. Not the movies so much. Theyre too long. My arse was so numb that it slid off my body then down the cinema aisle. I think an usher slipped on it.

TATI: Thump!

TONY: Thump?

TATI: Yes, Tony. Gather up your ass and stomp to the next question. Im there already.

RAIN: I just found out that you guys have authored Mooreeffoc. (DOPE NAME, BY THE WAY!) Whats it about? Tell me in a ‘story way. I mean, give me a plot for your plot. You get?

TONY: Well, its about a thing, and it takes place at a thing, and the thing is a real compelling thing that out-things all other things, living or dead.

TATI: Tony, are you on dope? Rain asks some serious questions here. So, start again!

TONY: What am I? A performing seal? Why should I do what you say?

TATI: Perhaps it wouldnt be modest if I say that Mooreeffoc was initially my idea.

TONY: Well, I cant dispute that. It really was your idea in the beginning. Unfortunately.

TATI: Awww… but youre the perfect partner, Tony! I know that I can shoot any crazy idea at you, and it will always find fertile ground.

TONY: Im like a beanstalk of brilliance!

TATI: And thats why Im such a reckless adventurist, Tony. Its because youre around.

TONY: Good lord! What am I hearing?! Are you really actually praising me?

TATI: What? Have you been hearing voices again? You must really be on dope, Tony! Youre still stone deaf, or had you forgotten this?

TONY: Oh, sure, make fun of the deaf guy! One day, well rule the earth… you mark my words! Erm… sign language!

TATI: And what will be your first decree?

TONY: For a certain Tati to eat a certain culinary dish called ‘humble pie. And then to release all dragons from captivity!

TATI: Okay, so what was the question again?

TONY: I dunno. Something about drinking coffee backwards?

TATI: I wonder if humble pie is a nice dessert for coffee…

TONY: No. Its best served cold and on its own… like revenge.

TATI: Well, to answer the question, lets say that part one of Mooreeffoc was our first prose collaboration. We had already written some poems together, which is why we wanted to try and mix our prose skills as well.

TONY: And once we began, we just couldnt stop. Writing all three parts felt like the most natural thing in the world.

TATI: I constructed the bare bones of this story. Im a bit of a control freak sometimes, you know.

TONY: No. You just care about what were doing. Youre… exacting.

TATI: Good lord! What am I hearing?! Are you really actually praising me?

TONY: Maybe I am… but only slightly!

TATI: Speaking praise, we should give thanks to Rain for this entertaining interview.

TONY: Yeah, Rain! You ask the best questions!

TATI: Okay, lets go, Tony! I have another brilliant idea!

TONY: Will I need sunglasses?


Interview by RAIN
© All rights reserved 2017

TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Desire by Sudeep Sen

Under the soft translucent linen, the ridges around your nipples harden at the thought of my tongue.

You — lying inverted like the letter ‘c’ — arch yourself deliberately, wanting the warm press of my lips, their wet to coat the skin that is bristling, burning, breaking into sweats of desire — sweet juices of imagination.

But in fact, I haven’t even touched you. At least, not yet.

Твой пеньюар стекает мягкими полупрозрачными волнами, и рябь вокруг сосков дрожит при мысли о моем языке.

Ты выгибаешься упругой тетивой, предвкушая прохладное прикосновение моих губ. Их влажность успокоит твою пылающую, пьянящую, пряную кожу, истекающую липкими соками желания.

Хотя я еще даже не коснулся тебя. Пока не коснулся.



© All rights reserved 2017

GUEST POST // If the Tables Were Turned by Jane Paterson Basil

Please tell me, what would you do
if you were confined in a zoo
and all of the animals
from lizards to camels
strolled around pointing at you?

Now tell me, how would you feel,
if you were encased behind steel
while the chimpanzees
watched your antics with glee
and laughed at you eating your meal?

So, what if the tables were turned?
It’s time the corrupted ones learned
just like human beings
those creatures have feelings
and all of us should be concerned.

Inspired by the Government’s recent faux pas (how’s that for an understatement?) over the sentience of animals.


© All rights reserved 2017