Saturday 26 June 2021

'Because the World Always Turns and People Always Forget' by Catherine Ogston

The man they found by the highway was ordinary enough until they opened him up. Perhaps they thought his body would reveal answers, or his name running through him like the letters of a seaside town in a piece of rock. But his heart was a cabbage, a maze of ridges pressed inside cool layered leaves. His lungs were broccoli trees; miniatures of vibrant green, thick-trunked with slender branches. Where his kidneys should have been there were two tiny horses, like children’s toys, ready to gallop around his torso.

When they cut into his veins the sky went dark. Birds shrieked in confusion and people rushed out of their houses wondering if the end had come. I sat on the old swing under the apple tree and let the last of the blossom drift down onto my cheeks like ash from a burning volcano. I knew it was only temporary. Soon they would sew him up so he would look like an ordinary man again. The birds would quieten and the sunlight would swing back on its curve from the darkness. And by the time the last stitch was in place everyone would forget about the man with the pale green heart of folds upon folds, and those minute ponies which used to race up and down the track of his spine.

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