'Spirited Away' by Kath Kerr

Clark spoke beautifully, enunciating as a man of his position should, a considerable vocabulary peppered with French, Italian and Latin at his disposal.  Francis liked to snuggle up against him on the sofa and ask “Talk to me?” before they made love.

One day Clark struggled to remember a word, quite an uncommon word admittedly, but he found he could only describe a cacophony as ‘rather noisy.’  Later, his rare snowy white Khao Manee cat with her David Bowie eyes, became ‘light.’  

As he lost more language he no longer ate salami on rye with arugula and cream cheese, swapping them for ‘bacon sarnies’.  Instead of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Pouilly-Fumé he drank ‘lager top’ and once ‘snake bite.’  

Without his words, he couldn’t profess his love for Francis.  He had never seen the need for gestures of emotion and it was too late to learn how.  He managed to fuck for a while, then that stopped too.  When all of his words were gone, he disappeared.  His memory lived only on the tip of Francis’ tongue.

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