Pieces of orchids are strung across the floor, rumpled like band aids, left behind by the girls. You know you have to pack now, the rats will be here soon, caught up in the chase. They will burn down this house, just like the last. Flames squeal with joy at the prospect of being allowed out to play. They will smoke you out of your ‘writer’s world’ and the next to come.

You leave the orange case open on the floor, you gather up all their little clichés and repeating, repeating metaphors. You cram them viciously into a jar too small. They cut themselves, again and again, just to fit. You want to take them. You want to leave all these people behind with none of their nagging security. You will leave them empty, as you fill your case.

The clichés go on the bottom, they weigh the heaviest in their vast annoyance. You pick up their ‘days’, all of them. “What is a writers day? What is this world?” they stand at the window and watch. It is mundane but they don’t want to see that. They want to see you peel open that large rusting can, spewing vast and various worlds, ready to lay themselves open on the page, like a good little whore.

You put their ‘writer’s day’ and all their questions and you fold them into origami swans. They toddle into the case like ducklings. But you are not their mother, thank the gods, they will never follow you.

You have a snow globe, made as a child, by a child, for a child. A jam jar upside down, the glitter clumped with the ancient, ageing glue. Inside is the Milky Way. It’s not happy at the way you pick it up without care. Or the way you shake it, spinning it in circles, and flicking it up and down. It would spit whole stars at you but the glass is too thick. Gravity’s hold on the jammy jammed jar lid is too strong, you try to pry it open, once with your bare hands, twice with a spoon wedged between the lips of the jar and lid. It doesn’t work. It is stuck.

You grow bored of the Milky Way, you fling it into the case. It falls and crushes two whole swans with its chunky landing.

Next you grab their spontaneity. Replicas of these almighty writers, these cardboard cut out Cowboys, these never ending philosophers with crowns of ridiculous hats. Them and their individuality, are lain inside a box, closed shut, held with a padlock.

This time you place it in the case. Shoving around the Milky Way and herding the swans to make space. You want to see the people write without any writers.

You want to see the real people. You wrap your delicates in Christmas socks. You leave at dawn through the back door. The rats enter through the front in swarms on their hind legs. They sprinkle gasoline like dust, clinking matches against stone. They scurry away from the fire’s rising torso, it’s legs springing out and burning off two rat’s tails. If only they knew, you had left at dawn.

You crawl into the next city. The first thing you buy is pesticide.


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