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The Shark | Lacuna Part I Fiction

Posted on January 6, 2005 by Flames

A tale from Lacuna Part I. The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl from Blue City by Jared A. Sorensen

Dear Jonas,

I hope everything is well with you. Mama and Papa are fine.

I am writing to you a bit early because some interesting things happened today and I wanted you to know about them. I understand how hard it must be for you to be away from us and maybe this will help pass the time.

I woke up before sunrise this morning and could not get back to sleep, no matter how much I tossed and turned. The sky was changing from black to grey when I left the house. It was so early that almost nothing was open save for the newspaper kiosk by Cafe Station (I am sure you are laughing hard right now at the image of me waking before dawn!). Because the weather was pleasant for this time of year and because I felt like doing so I was dressed in a light coat and simple leather shoes. This is not important to the story but I feel compelled to discuss these kinds of details.

On the way to the tram station, I stopped in at the kiosk and bought some tobacco and cinders. As I have said, nothing was open — not even the cafe — so I was content to walk to the next stop and help the city to awaken.

Two things happened then (and this is the reason I am writing). The first event was that I noticed something laying in the middle of the sidewalk between the kiosk and the tram stop. At first I thought it to be some kind of strange street sculpture but as I drew closer I understood it to be not a sculpture but a great fish. The smell is what convinced me! Upon closer examination of the thing I saw that it was a large shark…easily as long as I am tall, possibly more. The shark was incredibly wide, as if it recently enjoyed a gluttonous meal that perhaps forebode its demise. Its eyes were bright red and surrounded by bloating, wrinkled white skin. Its gills were dry and similarly red. The smell (as I have said) was terrific. I walked around the shark a few times and thought of perhaps buying some paper to sketch it (such was its size and peculiarity) but I soon grew tired of its stench and its bulk and its sheer unusual-ness. I walked on to the station.

The ride was uneventful and I stayed on through Central all the way to Boxer, such is my appreciation for this kind of travel. I think that our autotrams are among the finest I have ever ridden. Ultimately, this is unimportant and I will get to the second event.

As you know, Boxer has still not totally recovered from the incident and repairs continue, thus I had to get to the street via an alternate route from the normal skyway bridge over the canal. As I walked up the stairs to the street I saw what would become the second unusual thing that I witnessed today: a man, swarthy and mustachioed in the manner of a foreigner. He was seated as a small table (of the type used by street vendors or magicians) and as he was dressed smartly in a tuxedo, I assumed at first that he was one of the latter. Perhaps, on second thought, he was after all.

No matter. The man himself was not terribly unusual. Rather, it was the feat he was undertaking. He sat in a chair at the table with a napkin tucked into his collar the way children and oafish people sometimes do when eating supper. The table was decorated with two candles (lit) in silver candleholders and on the table between them were the parts of a disassembled bicycle. The man (seeming not to even notice my presence) picked up some part of the bicycle and began to eat it. I was transfixed at the sight of this strange behavior and watched as he finished eating the piece and proceeded to select and consume another. I watched him for about fifteen minutes. Neither of us spoke. I left the scene somewhat shaken and disturbed. I remember seeing a phonograph beside him. It was playing music but I cannot remember the tune.

Victor and I will be attending the kineoscope today to watch the animal executions. As I said, Mama and Papa are fine. The city is lonely without you. Have you heard the news? The attacks grow more and more frequent as time goes on. They say that the agents have a purpose above and beyond any kind of participation in the great conflict. I wish you were here to explain these things to me.

I look forward to your next letter and even better, when you finally come home. Keep safe and well.

Your brother,

Willem

For more information about Lacuna Part I visit the Memento Mori Theatricks Website.

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