Saturday, September 22, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole

This is one of those nights when you wake up groggy and disoriented and everything seems so distant and faraway and you find that you’re in the midst of giants. Your entire head vibrates excruciatingly as their thunderous footsteps make contact with the ground, one after the other, and the nerves in your temples are throbbing so vigorously it’s a wonder they didn’t explode into a mess of blood and capillaries. The giants are all around you, talking and laughing and occasionally one steps over you delicately - but other than that they do not seem to notice you. You’re watching them with disinterest until one of them leans down and grabs your shoulders and shakes. Hard. 
 
“Alice,” the giantess shouts, “Alice, get up.” 

I blink once. Twice. And my eyes begin to focus on the face inches from mine, her eyes wide with – what, fear? – for that few seconds until it is apparent that I have not overdosed and am still very much alive, thank you very much. 

“Tara,” I croak, “water. Please.” I’m still lying pathetically on the floor – which pretty much explains the roomful of giants.  

“Jesus Christ, Alice, are you trying to kill yourself? How many goddamn pills did you do?” 

Tara licks her red, red lips, livid; and I say, “enough to go to Wonderland”. 

Wonderland, where all sorts of magnificent creatures – gryphons and unicorns and even mock turtles (which according to the Queen is what mock turtle soup is made from) dwell. I want to tell her that it was a place where animals talked, like in Narnia, and they sang rhymes and had the most outrageous croquet games. I want to tell her that there was a Queen of Hearts, who was pudgy and rather stout but oh, how she loved having people’s heads cut off. “Off with his head,” she would say, “off with his head” because she liked the way it sounded, “off with his head” because she can. 

I could stay there forever because they were all mad. Everyone was mad and no one cared that monsters live behind my blue irises and my teeth were stained with blood. The Duchess served me soup with too much pepper and put a baby in my arms who turned into a pig. I didn’t want a pig any more than I wanted a baby so I slaughtered it and made a pork pie. Everyone at the tea party enjoyed it and the Mad Hatter pulled me aside and told me it was the best he had ever tasted and he kissed me but his mouth was full of porcelain chips and they cut into my lips and my tongue. 

Only the unicorn saw me for what I am. “You’re a monster,” he said but he got into a fight with the lion over the White King’s crown and died with his flank torn into ribbons before he could warn the others.   

“I was in Wonderland,” I repeat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1001 Arabian Nights

i sometimes wish i was born in the desert sea,
under the harsh, unforgiving glare of the sun, during
the worst of desert storms.

i dreamt of rising like a cobra from the ubiquitous sand,
with the trickle of golden grains sliding down my body.
once i was a king
but that was before caesar.

theirs are a tongue i would give anything to speak.
rich and thick and creamy like the scented cones propped
upon ancient egyptians’ heads they rolled out of their mouths
like a lullaby.
even the words smell like
za’atar and cumin and cardamom.
the evening air tastes like baharat and the waning sun.

they say that only the strongest survive
but what is never born
may never die. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Red Riding Hood


The figure cloaked in crimson disappeared into the enveloping gloom of the forest. The trees were densely packed so that even though they were bare in the frost of the winter, the forest grounds remained shady. It was the kind of forest where monsters and ogres lurk in the predictability of fairy tales. Indeed the forest had inspired the town folk to tell many tales to their children – mainly about disobedient children who wandered into the forest despite their parents’ forbiddance and were ravaged by horrible beasts.

The town nearest to the forest was merely half a kilometer away and the town folk, raised on generations of stories that sufficed to paint the forest an ominous and foreboding countenance shunned it as best they can. Still, the presence of the forest loomed over the town and when the moon was at its fullest, the howling of the wolves sounded like an army of banshees descending upon the town. The bravest of the town folks would be planning a wolf hunt that would never be carried out and the craven would be hiding in the warmth of their beds, hoping against all odds to catch some sleep in the ruckus.

In the town where everyone cowered from the sinister, impenetrable forest, there was a girl who would sneak off into the gloom of the tall, distorted trees in the black of night when the town was deep in slumber.

Victoria hurried along, her scarlet cloak trailing behind her billowed in the chilly breeze. She was aware of the pair of eyes that was following her every move, the footsteps dogging her own even though it was hidden in the shadow of the trees and its movements were silent, predatory. She stopped in a small clearing in the middle of the woods and it stepped out from the ubiquitous obscurity, its lithe and graceful body was coated with bristling silver fur. It stood majestically before her, its red red tongue hanging out of its mouth lewdly.

The wolf edged closer, putting one massive paw in front of the other as its eyes scoured Victoria, stripping her naked, layer by layer, through skin and muscle, as though contemplating which part of her to devour first. Its eyes were dark with hunger and its sharp, perfect teeth glinted menacingly in the moonlight.

Victoria slipped her heavy cloak off her shoulders and shivered. Her body was as white as ivory, breasts small and high, nipples taut. The wolf pounced forward, thereby closing the distance between them and with one paw gently pushed her onto the ground. It nudged her legs apart with its muzzle and licked the inside of her thighs.

She didn’t feel cold anymore – the fur of the wolf was warm enough – and it had lowered itself onto her so that she was shielded from the gelid wind. They did it on all fours - like animals. In its throes of pleasure amidst its blood-curdling howl, it raked its claws across her back where half-healed scars marred the translucent skin and her blood-soaked cape was stained a darker red. Victoria moaned in ecstasy, her burning back tingled with overwhelming sensation as her wolf-lover ran its lascivious tongue over her wounds.

“What a big mouth you have,” she remembered saying once upon a time, long long ago.

"The better to eat you with," answered the Big Bad Wolf.