A man, spherical with obesity, moved with practiced grace along the Rue de Ruefulness, ignoring the flamingos that spoke of the mystical bond between a cherry and the patch of sunlight that runs right in front of a tiny café just outside Tours. For this man was none other than Rufus Albuzingazong, professional butterfly catcher and ornithological advisor to the owner of the cinema where I once saw that movie, you know the one, with the red poster.

He was busy. Busy with his attempt to catch, in a polystyrene coffee cup, no less, a genus of butterfly… but one would have to be a bore of tragic proportions to care. This species of butterfly bears on its wings the perfect imprint of one Fuzog T. Flusterson, born October 4, 1989, and is, as has been remarked in all the important lepidopteral journals (the ones edited by geckos in black T-shirts with B.O.) of no interest to anyone. Rufus is doing it – but no one can say exactly why. Perhaps it was the fact that, on October 4 of that year, he had poured his normal bowl of cereal and found that it contained only half-dead slugs. Or maybe it was the screaming pebble lodged in his left boot. As has been remarked, no one really knows.

He was finding it rough going. With every other step he landed on a pile of steaming entrails and mutant frogspawn, cursing that no one in this day and age seemed to be properly able to clean up after their pet princesses, or even keep them on the leashes mandated by the famous edicts of King Larry the Incontinent.

It was in one of these piles that he discovered a church steeple, leading down to a rather startled bed of clams. Aha, he though, now we are getting somewhere.

At that instant the purple vicar ran up with a message etched in the belly of a small van, breathless at having run all the way from French Indochina, a journey taking some 152 years.

“We have all turned into small black spheres made of snot and street signs. Please send a small lampshade that speaks Klingon at your earliest convenience. Sincerely, The Pharaoh of America (formerly a barber’s pole).”

Rufus, deep in thought, slowly ate the car, thanking the purple vicar (still out of breath and pulsating a strange blue color) by twisting his nose and putting a stalk of celery down his trousers.

“This complicates matters,” muttered Albuzingazong, sprinkling ginger-lemon-peppermint essence around him on the thankful baby gods, which burst into songs that will never be written.

At that moment arrived the forecasted afternoon shower of violincellos, which smashed and oozed and coalesced into ratty little high-school music teachers.

Rufus sighed, knowing that he’d waste yet another day researching the congruence between a small pea plant and the rings of Saturn. The moon, smiling, clucked like a bartender, and Rufus dissolved, looking back onto a skyline that had already filled with luminescent swans.

 

 

Anand Dibble lives in Kiev, Ukraine. When there isn’t a revolution going on he reads books and writes things on napkins. He does it when there is one going on as well, but also when there isn’t. He’s written the odd thing here and there. Most of it is done staring at a ceiling and trying not to think. Find him in various ways using the astounding, stalkerish capabilities of the internet.

Photo by Hartwig HKD, distributed under Creative Commons.

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