14 February 2012

Peshtigo Fire

Porcher Renfro stuck out his tongue and tried to get a read on how fared the universe. Oh, he was scabby, all right. Scab-covered, you might say, but scabbiest of all was his tongue, that he now held out into the blistering, bare reality of a life gone wrong. Never to worry. Life repeats. Life renews.

If you hold your tongue out long enough, you might just get an idea of how the meanderings of the cosmic vibrations are getting on. They meander, it seems, right to the heart of your day and right to the heart of all that you are. In the same way a little flaky bit of saltine cracker gets blown out of your mouth while you type and it nestles down into your keyboard. With each successive keystroke the little flaky bit falls deeper and deeper into the keyboard, eventually disappearing. So do the cosmic vibrations seem to get right down to the heart of it.

Porcher Renfro noticed a slight disturbance in the cosmic vibrations, as his scabby tongue bounced up and down like an erotic side-show act. “Bright white,” he said, drawing in his tongue at long last. “Bright white 390.”

In just a moment a shuffling corpse appeared at his side. “Hubba hubba, Porcher,” said the undead visitor.

You be likin' my scabby little tongue, Choppy?”

Oh, I more than like it, Porcher. It almost makes my heart beat. What you sayin' about the bright white 390, though?”

I take me the readins' that lotsa' folks only gets on their instruments, and I takes the readins' on my tongue.”

I knows that, Porcher.” The corpse shuffled nervously, kicking the pavement with the bone of a big toe. It made a scratching noise.

So I can see more than most can...but I sees it with my tongue. And I knows all about radiation and karma and love and chemicals. And you can't pull no wool over Porcher's eyes, see?”

The corpse turned to face Porcher square on. “You ain't so big, Porcher. You ain't so mighty.”

The scabby noodle sucker smile a broad, scabby grin and showed the gaps in his teeth. “Naw, I s'pose I ain't. On both counts. But then, my heart is still beating.”


With all the speed and skill of a cotton picker, Porcher pushed his hand into the corpse's chest, just beneath the ribs. He withdrew a lifeless heart, his hand and wrist dripping with necrotic fluid.

How's them apples?” Porcher smiled even broader and scabbier.

Bright white 390,” said the corpse.

Happy Valentine's Day,” said Porcher, handing him his heart.

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