Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Bad Magician Takes Tea With Babs 

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Tea comes from books, which grow out of the heads of corpses. The fine weathered print is dried and placed in the folds of silences, then rolled onto vast, Korean slabs. Many children gather to watch the merchants trade their fingers for the cognizant herbs: they are drinking you as you drink them. A bell rings: Babs has farted in her tub, as per her routine. It is time for The Bad Magician to convert a few hours into steam, hot iron and mordant honey. The bell rings again, and off he goes.

Deep inside the compound, a rhino woman stamps her hooves against the tile floor, shattering her veins. The Bad Magician manifests in the dead air: he plays shadow puppets in the blind spot as the flood waters of The Big Easy break the Bush Family levee, spilling onto the floor, bleeding uphill and up the stairs. The smell offends god. Babs, finished with her bath, tweaks her beard and scrunches her face into that of a giant rat, tapping her hollow yellow fangs lightly against the mirror. Her gut descended, she rump-waddles towards the kitchen. The Bad Magician smells a very large rat.

"Tea?" says The Bad Magician to the gray-skinned rodent as she sprays her head with plastic cheese. "Tea, indeed," says Babs. The waters of New Orleans splash upwards in funnels, scale model twisters of the toxic juice propel the refreshment into their cups. Babs smiles and drops a turd onto one of her shoes. The pace quickens: sugar is eaten, biscuits are crumbled and forgotten, the tea is consumed until Babs catches a whiff of her own rotting insides, looks at The Bad Magician and tsk, tsk, tsks the Dark Inn Keeper. Trouble arrives stoned when the tongues split into differing factions. More trouble when Babs cuts open her rat stomach and out jumps the young George W. Bush, cradling a dead frog beneath his chin. "Tea?" asks The Bad Magician? "No," answers the beady-eyed boy, but the tea careened in a wild flight of air and arc, raining down and soaking the memory of George--the lights flicker, demons confess, and more rhinos trash the kitchen. Jesus called, sends his regrets, maybe some other time, does enjoy a nice tea now and again.

The waters recede, light pours in like razors, Babs devolves into a puddle of foam and tree stumps. The young George cuts his heart out and gives it to his mother. She spits it out. Sirens wail and gunshots are heard. The Bad Magician enjoys a good tea now and again, but takes advantage of an insect deity and clicks his way to Fargo, where the nights are already cold. Babs rolls over and vomits up hush puppys and beer, and is still. George wants mommy to be better. Be better, mommy. He will go out that day and cut a doctor. Bush opens his eyes and finds his teeth have become long and yellow, and his speech is hard to read. Karl Rove congeals on a plate as George asks where Babs has gone off to. He suspects his father has had her murdered.

Rove snaps his fingers. George blinks, stumbles, hits his head on the sink. Blood pools in the sink, turns black, hisses at George. A new day dawns.


Image of rat's paw from here.


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