PTSD in the produce department

Image result for curly parsleyYesterday it happened in the produce section. I was squeezing a cantaloupe thinking “Harry would like this” and as I caressed the thing it occurred to me it felt like my puckered bald scalp. I put the cantaloupe in the grocery basket making a mental note to ask Harry to cut it. Then the curly parsley caught my eye just as the mist sprayer came on like a fire hose. I bolted Continue reading

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Harry boobs

Harry made a ferocious Pimm’s Cup cocktail and brewed dandelion wine that served both as Vee’s facial toner and an excellent chilled drink after a long day mucking out the llama and alpaca pens at Twist of Fate. His galenicals were known throughout the Valley for curing everything from athlete’s foot to warts.

Alpaca_Llama_ToothySueChristiePhoto

Photo credit: Sue Christie

For weeks Harry had puttered in his shed near the llama enclosure, shutting the door on Vee and her inquiries. He measured, poured, baked, and sampled. Something. Today the odour reminded Vee of ground shrimp shells and rabbit pellets. Continue reading

Kenspeckle

I don’t want to be front and centre, Harry. You know how I feel.

Vee, your kenspeckle head is famous.

No one in Kootmacs knew Vee before the scalp fire except Harry. Infamous Vee, Lady Mexican Hairless, she thought. Bald as an egg.

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The hunt started. The grounds of Twist of Fate were a cat’s cradle of yarn threaded from trees to fence posts, scribbled through the bars of the fence, down the hill to the llama pen and back again. Wool rainbows hung from branches. Continue reading

Directions to Twist of Fate*

Vee’s directions

Look out for the deer as you motor through the village of Kootmacs. They’ll occupy the middle of the road. They’ll blink at you and then, slow as a traffic cop sussing out the situation, saunter over, hooves clicking on the asphalt, push their noses on the windscreen hoping you’ll give them a leaf of organic lettuce. Failing that, they’ll amble into someone’s garden and eat the nasturtiums. It’s best to ignore them.

Turn left at the old tavern on the corner. It’s the only tavern and the only left turn. A right will take you down to the pier which they call the wharf and it smells exactly how it sounds. If you roll down the window, you’ll understand what I mean. But don’t roll it down when there’s a deer nearby or you’ll be impaled by antlers. If you don’t feel the burn of bile rising in your throat you’ll love this place. Continue reading

To the creator

 

Dear Susanne,

I’m ever so pleased you’ve entrusted me with the hair of your dog to knit a hat spun with llama wool. Pleased, too, to make it with Elvis’ fleece for you. Black llama mixed with the creamy hair of your wee canine will be absolutely stunning. You do have an eye, my dear.

You know, you’ve just given me an idea for the Twist of Fate. I could post pictures of all our llamas and invite customers to choose their llama wool. That adds an even more personal touch, eh? Although, what if everyone chooses the same llama? Well, I suppose I could lie. Never mind. Not a good idea after all.

I’m glad you got in touch with me because it’s time to set the record straight. Frankly, you’ve got Harry and my story all wrong. Continue reading

Ms. Fix-it’s Christmas

All the nails Harry drove into the post were bent. As Rose stood above him watching, he bashed another one in, crooked again. His head pounded so much when she was near you’d think he was a nail and she the hammer.

“How many times this month have you fixed this section of fence, Harry?”

“Three, I believe. Yes, three. That’s all. I’m improving, eh Rose?” His smile matched the nail.

“Wouldn’t you rather be planting herbs or tending the lily beds?” she asked.

Rose proposed a solution. Hire her boyfriend Derrick who had many talents -including pounding nails.

A boyfriend? Harry pulled at his bumptious eyebrow hairs, hating the boy instantly. Harry’s imagination bent and followed the curves of the twisted nails thinking about Rose and her lover. Continue reading

Rose Laine

Harry plucked burrs from the tall black llama, Elvis’, coat, humming “You were always on my mind”, and glancing every few seconds through the window of the Twist of Fate, their knitting studio in the converted barn. He could see Vee and Rose Laine in profile. Neither smiled. They looked like they were negotiating a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine, not participating in a job interview. Vee didn’t smile much these days. She told Harry smiling pulled on the scarred skin of her scalp which felt like wet tissue paper about to tear. Continue reading

Long and winding

I’m staring down at the old bag when she sticks out her hand for me to shake. Except it isn’t a real shake – she just offers me her fingers like she’s reaching to pat a dog.

Christ, her head is a mess. The old fart who brought me to the interview warned me. He said just focus on her pretty green eyes but I can’t help staring down at her. I’m 5’ 11”, everyone looks short to me. When she says she’s five foot three I hold the snort. Unless snootiness is measured in inches, I’m thinking – and there’s lots of that coming out of her Mexican Hairless-with-psoriasis scalp. Continue reading