08 August 2012


When I stepped out of the flesh-veiled cloak room, I looked deep into the tiny wishing well that was standing outside, guarded by that vile Turk known as Mustafa. Mustafa grunted at me and lifted a small bag that I think held a curd-like substance, similar to yogurt. I smiled.

“Smile pretty, kemosabe,” said the vile Turk.

“Now Mustafa,” I replied, “you know that my smiles are always pretty. There isn't a thing I would rather do than give you a pretty smile.”


“Roll up your sleeve, Mustafa,” I commanded.

Mustafa rolled up his left sleeve, exposing a tattoo of a zebra with multiple rows of eyes. His forearm was hairy and veiny, with the hairs on the inside and the veins on the outside – a network of bluish veins and red arteries covering the surface of his skin. The zebra peeked out of the network in several places, owing to his many eyes...and the many apertures in the network of veins and arteries.

I selected a particularly toothsome grabber-leech from my little leech-pot that I always carried with me. It wriggled and gnashed its teeth as I held it aloft. I wiggled back and forth and its drippy little skin glistened in the noonday sun reflecting off of Mustafa's curd-like substance.

“You got that one for me? You picked it just for me?” asked Mustafa, his lips curdling and turning brown.

“Just for you, Mustafa.” I placed the grabber-leech upon Mustafa's hairy, veiny arm, and it dug in with such verve, panache, and gusto.

“It hurts like a sumdebish,” said Mustafa.

“Yes, I know.”

“Can you make it stop?”

“It will not stop until you are sucked dry.”

“I guess I had best enjoy it then, huh?”

I nodded in agreement and watched as Mustafa sat down cross-legged upon the razor-sharp grass. The grabber-leech was violent, to be sure. It was burrowing right beneath his very flesh, unable to get enough of Mustafa's thick, Turkish blood.

Soon Mustafa was bled white, and his head dropped slowly to his chest, and then he rocked over and sprawled onto the lawn. The grabber-leech wiggled its way back into my leech pot, and I hummed a merry tune.

I looked down at the poor Turk, and saw that the zebra on his forearm had up and left. We found him days later in a petting zoo, entertaining the figures of children who had been tattooed on the wrists and ankles of gypsy dancers. The smallest gypsy cried out to me in a hot, zephyrvoice:

“Can you make it stop?”

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