Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Harum-Scarum - Flash Fiction Story

When confronted with happiness, she tucked her hair behind her ear to reveal a timorous smile. When anxious, she took the same strands of hair and stuck it between her teeth to gnaw on it like a hostage's gag. In between states, she often coughed up a furball of affective emotion which she had swallowed down deep.

Standing in the gallery up close to the painting and one can see that the classical master painter of nudes stripped his sitters not only of their raiment, but also their body hair. It was almost as if the bristles of his paintbrush sucked up their down and fibrils in order to draw it into and bulk its own substance.  The artist neglected to render the goosebumps that colonised their scorched earth body in place of the hair. But oil paint has long since been eclipsed by the camera. And now the glamour models shave themselves smooth. Still posing exclusively for the observer's eye.  

He was constantly fighting to hold them back. Even though they were supposed to be forces of goodness. The hair in his nose that purified and purged the air of dust, which now rather might have been helpful in stopping up his nasal incontinence. The corkscrewing hair sprouting from his ears which were supposed to help him discriminate between sounds, but actually just clotted his audition and made all bruits dull. His filamentous eyebrows now snaking like vines over his eyes were no longer battling to keep his sight clear, since all his vision these days was milky. He attacked them all with scissors and tweezer blades, but the follicle jungles would not be held at bay. Forever a three-pronged creeping advance, to bury the temple of his body like the ziggurats of ancient cultures and stand as a monument to ruin and decay. And yet he was ever grateful for the still rampant pullulation of hair on his arms. Covering over the gnarled scar tissue of youthful miscalculation. The puckered knots and corrugated boles of mangled skin rind interred beneath tendrils of gauze. Only they're turning white now could not conceal the livid red of his mangled skin quite so efficaciously.  

The Hassidic teenager wears the culturally anachronistic Shtreimel fur hat in the sweltering humidity of New York. Fur upon fur. A glorious, exalted crown wrought from a repressive Tartar order for Jews to sport tails on their heads. Yet the only exposure of human hair emerging from the furry clamp, is the corkscrewing payot breasting his sideburns. Symbolic distinguishing marks that curiously echo the curlicue tail of the verboten pig.

Every day they left the house together for their commute. She in front and being considerably shorter than her husband, he was given access to chart the spreading darkened roots of her crown as her artificial colouring was pushed further back into recession. It was none to dissimilar to wondrously tracing the seasons of a deciduous tree through the changes in the hues of its leaves. But well before the autumn of their married life, it came to represent the spreading metastasis like unseen tree roots beneath the life giving clay of her body. In time she stopped dyeing her hair. Then it fell out and disappeared altogether under chemical assault. Eventually he was leaving the house on his own, the muscle memory of his neck still inclining his vision downwards in front of him, now solely populated with the fraying 'Welcome' mat.

1 comment:

Hawksword said...

A mix of wonderment and eww! And Oh! that last was unexpectedly tender and sad. :'(