April 21, 2016 Comments Off on Unquiet Moonlight By Matt Thompson
A cactus had begun to push its way through the floorboards in my kitchen. I let it. It’s not my business to play God, to anoint myself the master of life and death. Even after I stepped on the thing and one of its spines punctured a medium-sized hole into the sole of my foot, I stuck to my guns, figuring that the accident had been my fault anyway. Should have looked where I was going, eh?
The wound began to fester. Before long, a bulbous, pustulent growth appeared midway between my arches and my toes that wept tangerine-yellow liquid onto my bedsheets at night. It hurt like a bastard, but somehow it would have seemed like a betrayal of my principles to seek treatment.
So I did my best to ignore it.
The cactus, meanwhile, grew so fast you could almost see it move. By the time it had become almost impossible for me to walk properly, it had managed to worm its way right through the floor, splintering the wooden slats as if they weren’t even there. I was forced to edge my way around it to get to the cooker. Soon I didn’t bother anymore and just ate cold baked beans straight from the tin. It didn’t seem to affect my pustule’s growth one way or the other, and the stodgy feel of the beans in my throat soothed the pain in my legs somewhat.
By then, the first spikes were protruding from my sole, more of them visible every time I remembered to look. Walking was out of the question, so I just sat in my chair all day, crawling out to the porch once a week to pick up the package left by the supermarket delivery guys. God knows what they thought as the cactus had worked its way through a few of the kitchen windows and had started to head streetwards, attracting bats on a nightly basis for, I supposed, the purposes of pollination.
Nowadays my feet and legs are more spine than skin. It’s not a problem. I don’t need to drink fluids any more, for one thing. I just take in moisture from the air and sit in my chair, dreaming of the prairie wind whistling through my arms as I suck in the light from the moon.
From my chair by the window I can see some of the other houses on my street. They all seem to have cacti poking out of their windows now, too. There’s only so much moonlight, and I’m not inclined to share it around if I can possibly help it. They can find their own sustenance, as far as I’m concerned.
© 2016 Matt Thompson
Matt Thompson is a London-based writer of oddball fantastical fiction: short stories, flash fiction, comics scripts, poetry, and the occasional novel. He has also, over the course of the last couple of decades, released a slew of records as a member of the musical acts Zoltan, Rashomon and Cremator. Nowadays he is endeavouring to follow Ray Bradbury’s advice of writing a story every week; to date, this has been adhered to in intention more than reality.