Sᴜɴʀɪsᴇ Oᴀᴛʜ

Love of Crabs

Jack Taylor stood by the widow at the funeral, comforting her as she instructed. He agreed, polite and cold, patting her in the right rhythm to sooth her aching pain.

A week after, in a café on King and University in Uptown Waterloo, she gave him her husband’s notebook. He accepted it, face rid of any gratitude or joy, for his job was divine, ordained by God Himself. Detective, Magician, Time Traveler, Christian—the Morning Star has dawned upon our age, coming back as God’s most holy angel.

The words on his breath were clouds and rays of light, charismatic vapors from above.

In his apartment, staff in hand, he read aloud a poem that he heard the late husband read on television, one of many letters he presented on his “Art Revival” segment of the Sunrise Oath show. The words on his breath were clouds and rays of light, charismatic vapors from above. The dead podcaster’s two favorite songs were Abba’s “Waterloo” and Franz Liszt’s “Love of Crabs” etude, and so John had them playing on the record. He had no need to borrow anything; his music collection was bottomless, literally. (Only once, he listened to “Crabs”. It was a boy who played it as an encore at her daughter’s school concerto.)

“‘We grant your loftiness to some obscurity of cloud.’” He imitated the cadence on the VHS tape, letting the meter of the poetry—he was not an expert on prosody, no more than Wikipedia—fall on his tongue as incantations, summoning that one facet of the person that he thought best in the man. He was an excellent speaker, but an atheist, “‘since dark is what brings out your light.’”

The ghost of Gale Jones appeared in the corner of the room, not recognizing John. They went to the same high school, the one whose old washrooms smell like young blood and warm asparagus on hot summer days. The detective preferred to not know the victim, but it was hard to avoid. Six degrees of separation, as they say. He was booked in three cities, in three provinces, and was bound to come across a person from his past.

“Sarah?” He called out, confused from waking up. “Ma chère?”

Sir, he thought to the ghost, can you hear me?

“How are you doing that?” the writer said, startled by this. “Your voice is in my head.”

Because you don’t exist, John thought. You’re a ghost, brought back by yours truly. A fictional character.

“Nonsense,” he said. “I think, therefore I am.”

Quinine Marigold Hawthorn is alive. The author said it in an interview.

“Ma rigole,” he said, crying and seeing that he was not real. “This knowledge has been my salvation.”

My favorite part of the novel, the detective said, embarrassed, was that tweet your daughter saw on her timeline, regretting that her Gramps never lived to see it. Early 2020 shitpoasters is my favorite normcore esthetic.

“Thank you, John.” Gale Jones now remembered his schoolmate.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

%d bloggers like this: