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Six Short Ones by Ahimaaz Rajesh

From the Warmhole

It’s so hot in here this must be an oven or a warmhole. When your stay is done here, fella says, you will have, for little to no point at all, traveled many places. In many pieces. Picture, I say, entering paradise head in a severed hand. Heart in an edentulous mouth.



So, Finally, Then

Half a century past her wedding, decades and decades past doting kids, past discords, years and years past doting grandkids, past harmonies, years past menopause, past hormone replacement therapy, long past rheumatism, months past wheelchair-bound days, she told him that and meant it—tremulously but firmly at first, then unfirmly, firmly at last—that which she had always told him but had only occasionally meant.



A Logical Procession

First, for that matrimonial photograph, he’d cut his locks like (they said) he must. His boy cut, it turned out, wouldn’t suffice. It wasn’t just that his hair-sprayed, scalp-close hairs looked (to some) too shiny—he had (to others) a goatee. By the time it was the next time, he had the locks again, so, out of ennui, he just trimmed them to short locks.
     Then he had the boy cut again, but (to everyone else) he had a soul patch. Yet again when he had the boy cut, he had (to others) a hairstyle. Then, when he tonsured, his scalp had denuded spots, so (obviously) he had a head. Only after he had his ‘tonsured head transformed to a short-locked head’ decapitated was he given the bride.
     On the first night, the bride was wrung out, yet she grew over-excited and tumescent once she’d felt the groom’s priapism. His was bigger than his normally (some said) would be. It didn’t matter the groom wasn’t voluble or that he lacked a proper tongue. So then she disrobed herself, when she couldn’t contain herself, ever so slowly like (they said) she must.


That Multifaceted Dunsboy!
I, Little Bruder, while I could be perceived as being unmindful of my unzipped fly, never did I tire from telling just about anyone in the neighborhood what to do. It was precisely at the point when I began to instruct a band of do nothings did I get perceived as a bit much. I began by telling them how I could not be of any aid to them, that I could barely get intrusive in their affairs, that they hardly did anything, that they must begin to do things, so that I may be obliged to correct them.
     The Band of Do Nots said to me in return it’s not because they cannot do anything that they aren’t doing something, that they can do just about everything there is to do, but that to do not is their way of life, and how they can even recite the Dao backwards in its entirety. They said all this while having encircled me, and I kept anticipating opportune moments to flee as it’d been minutes since anyone said anything, let alone did anything, trapped in a web, feeling like a fly. I hopped, crawled, and leapt, I screamed, sang and wept, I spoke, waltzed and slept: all to no avail.
     It was Big Schwester at last who happened to rescue me. She said tnelis os! and they laerehte os! She then turned to me and said I better learn first to zip my fly, then to boss around if I wanted to, that I wouldn’t perhaps then want to, given how vital and life-changing such a seemingly trivial knowledge can be. I then came to my Council of Toys and confessed out loud how much I disliked being told to do.



If by a Time-Machine You Go

Every time I get caught in, I’d say, Hat’s Paradox. Some, though, call it the Vermilion Paradox. “You are nearly there and you are there and then it’s you were just there,” (or else all that comes in reverse), sort of sensations. It’s an effect, I’d guess, of time-portation. You’re inch by inch, fiber to fiber colonized and your body is—ports and portals—your time machine. It doesn’t matter if you go decades after, yesterday or decades before, things don’t change this much as an inch. She at times gets déjà vu and jamais vu. She gets déjà entendu and presque vu, at other times.
     Every time—so, no doubt, then—she takes a swing at and hard slaps. No marks on my cheeks—hell no—but it hurts like hell and it’s nearly embarrassing, always, to come back to, to lean back, to just think about it all. She wants two two-wheelers and two four-wheelers. It’s like, quite frankly, she has wanted it and wants it and is going to want it. I forget to mention: a handsome three-story home, plenteous cash in the safes, four perpetually barking dogs of the Alsatian kind. What’s even worse is she wants children. I mean—not adopted children, but children of our own—why.
     She’d then scream, “Secretly, perhaps, you bloody want them, too!” (the perhaps barely audible), all the bleeding time. And that’s precisely where you begin to freeze and start worrying about the possibility of time-portation and its aftereffects. I forget to mention: the inescapable barfing, a delicate yet unnatural twitching of her vermilion border and the wispy evaporation of our present sweet bloody selves.


‘You are Not Simply to Be,’ Speaks Our Fastmodernist
Not just with You or just about anything that I publish but in everything anyone writes, the letters, er, the alphabets better matter as much as the words. I cannot believe half the readers missed the word on the third page at first read. The choice of the Blank Second Page was purely one of aesthetick. To read and know the word Be on the first page and not know the third page reads Fragmatic is utter ignorance. It’s like you are all jetpacker’d and your roof wouldn’t bloody open up. I say know the combination to your roof already. Honestly my favorite alphabet from You happens to be G and so is the postfix Tic one of the best three alphabets (that aren’t a syllable) I conjured up ever. To think Be is all there’s to You and critiqueue headfirst it’s a clever throwback to a fabled, ancient Existentialism, well, it couldn’t get ironic’r.
     I think Raju Binoy’s works are relevant, albeit for different reasons than to what major criticks think they are. First, it is plain he does it longwinded, as hundred pagers, yet he does it a word a page. That makes him one of the purists and thus authentick. Second, his doing what he does in a literary atmosphere where the significance of alphabets is becoming more and more pertinent makes reading him all the more rich’r. Just so you know I skipped reading most of the first half of his Into the I the first time around, like almost everyone I know did, but I’d spent nearly five minutes twice trying to transpose and guesswork the origin of the words World and Road at the last half and spent many a two minutes post-read thinking about not just its segueing of words but its intriguing alphabets. Nadim Sultana is publishing an alphabet a page, Oh! Yea & Besh Besh as thousand pagers, and Raju, I must say, is just as important as Nadim, and not a rupenny less.
     It’s a healthy sign, I’d say, microfiction is still saleable. When what many said is soon doomed to fail remains “fashionable,” still growing to be, it says a lot about the unpredictabiliti of trends. I dug’r most micros of Percival Art, et al., still do dig’r them. Just because it’s half pagers or twice as longers, when there’s enough substance and poeosic merit to it, isn’t going to turn anyone off.
     A lot of the travel I do is within my Room C. I often go to the Corridor F but not lately because it means I must face my brother. He’s this well-meaning Stare Language practitioner. I haven’t so far learnt to Stare, so, you know how timid that can make you. I tend to the Bonsai Forest Y at the Northern Corner of the Room. It’s so dense mice Maos often get lost in those micro-woods. Sometimes, from where I sit, spin, sprint, work and do the rest, thanks to the Sprinkl’r Comfort K, it takes me weeks to reach the forest. The print’r is down now so I cannot object print out the jetpacker yet. I think I should jetpacker to Hong Kong and other citlages before I begin my ten-pager pre-titled Grolic.
     It takes but, not always, about two weeks for me to finish a roughly five-pager work and six months of leisuretime, which is also the time of incubation, before the next. I don’t know how the Delhiit Triniti does it thrice a week. I wouldn’t imply their work is poor’r for it, but it makes me wonder couldn’t they be less desperate or, just perhaps, couldn’t the rest of us be more desperate. No sooner my wallet-e thinners than I want my next Advance Payables. I’d much rather the freebi remixers stop being given away and reprintables stay in print’rs for much longers. It would be nicer’r to have worried less about my kid’s Self-Education and more about syllables and alphabets on my pagers, nah?
(In keeping with Brevity Code—Q’s shan’t be long’r than A’s—we regret in the aftermaths that Amit’s Q’s (being long’r than Zahid’s A’s) been moved to Issue XXV Volume VI of meddlingmillennialmiddle)





Ahimaaz Rajesh, who works for bread, writes to breathe, has works published in A Twist of Noir, Apocrypha and Abstractions; Short, Fast, and Deadly; Thrice Fiction, theNewerYork, and SmokeLong Quarterly, blogs (sort of) at minimalust.wordpress.com. Currently based in India, he was previously based in India as well.