Wolves By Kit Maude

August 22, 2016 Comments Off on Wolves By Kit Maude

Hello.

No, I can’t speak.

Yes, of course.

Yes, it was.

Because of my tongue.

Sorry, I’ve got pretty used to the sight.

It was torn apart by wolves.

No, ‘wolves’ plural. Small ones.

About half an inch long. They snuck into my mouth when I was asleep.

Yes, half an inch.

Yes they do.

No: wolves. Not insects. Not rats, not mice. Canis lupus.

Yes, there is.

I remember it quite well, you know. What with it happening to me. I was seven years old. I woke up to the sound of tiny howls, and then came the pain. Do you know how much it hurts to have half a dozen little jaws clamping down on your tongue? I tried to shut my mouth, but that just enraged them further. I could feel them bulging in both cheeks, hopping around to get a better purchase. They tore and tore and tore, until, well, you saw what was left. There was so much blood in my mouth that a couple of members of the pack. . .

Yes, they do.

There was so much blood that a couple of members of the pack slipped down my throat. I swallowed them. The throbbing was incredible. It could have filled a dozen balloons.

No, that was what happened. When I opened my mouth again, four wolves came out, each with a chunk of my tongue. They left most of it behind in pieces. They leaped off my bed and slipped under the door. My parents didn’t find me until the next morning: they thought that my grunting was the plumbing. I never spoke again, and it was a very long while before I could sleep properly. Eventually, I discovered that wolves are afraid of fire, so I keep a lit candle on my headboard. That seems to work.

Yes, they do.

© 2016 Kit Maude

Kit Maude is a translator based in Buenos Aires.

Chutneynomics By Kit Maude

May 16, 2016 Comments Off on Chutneynomics By Kit Maude

X. stands over a large pot on the stove. X. has made chutney.

Thought bubbles float up above X.’s head. Inside one of them, X. is holding a jar. Arrows spring out from this jar towards a number of other people depicted in a similar way to X. Some of the people are alone; some are in pairs. X. plans to foist his chutney on several friends.

X. is on the telephone (still stirring his pot of chutney). This time, the thought bubble contains a man and woman with a broken heart in between them. Two of X.’s friends have broken up after a ten-year relationship. They are heart-stricken.

X. is then joined by Y., who is joined in turn by the heart-stricken C., Y.’s sister.

The real X. looks puzzled. He has a problem.

X.’s thought bubble now shows the same chutney distribution as before, only this time with crosses over several of the arrows and each recipient marked ‘A.’, ‘B.’, ‘C.’, etc.

X. cannot distribute his chutney to his friends ‘A.’, ‘B.’ or ‘D.’ because he only knows them through ‘F.’, the male member of the heart-stricken couple, whom he will no longer be seeing for political reasons.

X.’s bubbles play out different scenarios. The first depicts X. trying to give a large jar to the heart-stricken C. and F. only to be impeded by a cross through the distribution line. X. cannot give a large jar to the couple, because the term ‘couple’ no longer exists. In the second bubble, two smaller jars are being given to both C. and F., but the distribution lines are similarly broken. X. cannot give a jar to each of them because they will still be living together for the short term – separate bedrooms, but not separate refrigerators. The third shows a jar not going to C. X. cannot simply give chutney to ‘C.’, because it would be seen as a petty act.

X. bears an expression of worry and alarm. He will surely be stuck with a glut of chutney.

© 2016 Kit Maude

Kit Maude is a translator based in Buenos Aires.

Skeletons By Kit Maude

April 7, 2016 Comments Off on Skeletons By Kit Maude

X. announces that this year he will be giving everyone animal skeletons for Christmas. Mother X. will receive the skeleton of an expired Toucan, beak included. Father X. will get the skull and tusks of a sturdy walrus. Brother X. will have the inner frame of a sprightly macaque, while Sister X. will be able to observe the graceful workings of a barn owl, wings outstretched as though in flight. X. is very pleased with his choices, which involved much careful research, for animals symbolize many things and he thinks that he has successfully avoided any unwanted connotations while also finding a set of neat, sculptural gifts. Y., however, looks horrified at the announcement and urges him to rethink his medium. X. sighs and shakes his head. Once more he seems to have overlooked something crucial.

© 2015 Kit Maude

Kit Maude is a translator based in Buenos Aires.

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