The anthropologists from the city came eventually. Fat men and a little woman with a recording machine. They spoke slowly to me as if I do not understand Spanish.
Do…you…know…how…to…fuck…off, I said and the little woman looked embarrassed and said that I am an old woman and shouldn’t use such words. I told her that in my language there are such words and worse. The fattest anthropologist, Dr Gonzales, squealed with delight, leant forwards and turned on the machine.
I said that I am an old woman and I do not use such words.
Eventually I sang them a song that I remembered my mother singing to me when I was a child. After so long we still had no word for a horse. It described a giant dog with one of the old gods on his back and a small boy who tricked them by throwing a gold ring into a lake. The god set his dog to the waters and had it drink thinking it could lap up all the expanse. But a great river flowed into the lake so there they are still; the giant dog drinking and the god astride his back with his eyes forever fixed on the gleaming ring under the black waters of the lake.
Marc O’Connell is an Irish author, he is the co-editor and co-founder of The Penny Dreadful Magazine (www.thepennydreadful.org) and has only recently begun to write short, short fiction.
–Art by Navid Sanati