500 words based on a sentence selected by Dive. Click here for more info.
This week's sentence is from William Burroughs' Cities Of The Red Night:
"He was passing a huge marble snail, a bronze frog and a beaver."
Jarvis opened one eye and found himself lying in a puddle of drool on a conveyer belt tracking slowly through what looked like a large gallery. He was passing a huge marble snail, a bronze frog and a beaver, a fox and a dormouse.
He tried to raise a hand to rub his itchy nose but his arms were tangled in his shirt, which wound through his bare legs and wrapped behind his back. Jarvis lacked the coordination and the will to extricate himself. It was easier to just lie still, attempting to remember the name of the song he thought he heard playing quietly, just below the threshold to make out the words. He knew it, but the key and the meter were off. Still it was maddeningly familiar. Something from his youth perhaps? He felt it more than heard it as it wove snatches of melody and lyric into his brain.
Wait – did the beaver move? Jarvis thought he saw it blink. Nah, it’s dead, stuffed. The music got louder, building towards a crescendo. The beaver charged the conveyer, shattering the glass display case. It clawed Jarvis’ chest and furiously humped his leg while the fox danced on its hind legs wearing a beauty queen’s satin sash and the dormouse chittered urgently, running frantically back and forth within the ruined diorama.
Jarvis awoke with a gasp, jerking upright on his office sofa, sunlight streaming through the half-opened Venetian blinds. It was morning? The last thing Jarvis remembered was happily boinking his client on the bed, on the floor, on a towel by the door…no, stop! That was the Sarah Silverman video with Matt Damon. Jarvis and Miss Smith had been going at it on the desk, and now he was alone and naked and sore and missing several hours.
What was in the spliff he’d been smoking when she walked in? It certainly didn’t mix well with the gin he thought he remembered drinking. And why the shooting pain at the base of his skull and the double vision?
He lay back down and tried to recapture his dream. Some sculpture, some taxidermy and some music. A woman’s voice, haunting and hypnotic. And what about last night? When did Miss Smith leave? His memory was a kaleidoscope of erotic images, scents and tastes, but nothing made sense.
Jarvis squinted, trying to recall the last time the early morning sun had seared his retinas and thought about getting up to close the blinds and maybe start a pot of coffee. His mouth tasted like a sewer, his tongue furred and dry. This was more than his usual hangover.
Jarvis noticed a shimmering cloth half under the desk. Looked like Miss Smith left him a souvenir. He staggered to the desk, steadied himself against it and bent to retrieve her panties. What the…??? Not Rosamond’s silky drawers, but the fox’s satin sash, “The Truth is Out There” scrawled across it.
Now if he could just remember what the dormouse said.
copyright (c) 2010 Lulubelle B