They find the skull of a sheep buried very shallow.
Scrabbling in the frost hard earth with blue fingers, like the fingers of lepers (the imagined fingers of lepers) These delicate fingernails could peel away unnoticed, embed themselves in the earth and lie, like the fossils of baby oysters. Like this field or wasteland is still the ocean bed.
Gloves might help.
"It's a goat?"
They don't know much.
One of them chews the red clay from beneath those fingernails, still attached. Little fingers, remnants of varnish, an organic green. A growth of lichen across some minute pane of glass.
If they hold it up there - the last grey yellow streaks of sunlight catch at it briefly. Then the sun dips out of sight behind some low earth mound, bare trees, the far corner of PC World.
"It's a fucking sheep"
One of them sucks icy air over their teeth. Like the skeletal distance between a sheep and a goat is infinite, and the tentative mis-identification disgusts beyond words. Drinks something from a plastic bottle, passes it on.
"Probably a wolf got it"
- the smallest one says, cramming the skull into an overly full backpack.
"Yeah, probably" the others snort.
They clamber up the bank and over the fence to the road. They hope the bus comes before the moon.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
There’s this thing; this owl, this very ugly owl. Like a cartoon owl – roughly the size of a smallish eight year olds closed fist. The owl holds some magical property. The glitter that forms a random crust over some parts of it changes colour – from a candyfloss pink to a bleach blue – ostensibly to indicate climatic conditions – but undoubtedly signalling something else way more esoteric and unknowable.
Here’s me clutching at its abrasive surface, and here’s me breathing hot breath over it as I cradle it in cupped palms. I’m using it as some kind of oracle. I don’t know what I’m asking it - something dumb probably.
After some time it turns this kind of sludgy purple and I lose interest.