“Fictioneer” by Paul Lisicky

In the Not-Writing, he had a notion: he needed to protect time in order to make life.

But the Life-Made always wanted to stop before he did. The knife above the cutting board, and wouldn’t it rather be suspended, mid-gesture, before the pepper beneath it was split?  At least that’s what the story thought. It never wanted to be taken through the expected turns, to face the logic it was supposed to face. Every reason, then, for him to listen and listen until it tired him. Somewhere, out there, there was music. And his ears filled up with weeds.

No surprise, then, that the Flirtatious Puppet shook this way and that, sang Come buy my meat, taste this little bit of mine, and why not take a walk with the pirates?

But I have to make life in the morning, said the Fictioneer.

If you don’t live it, said the Puppet, it won’t come out your horn.

Oh, you didn’t make that up.

And the Fictioneer lay back on his raft, dreaming as if he’d found himself on a sea in which there was no one to miss, and no one to miss him back.

But who am I if I can’t trap time? he said, springing up from sleep. What will I be after I’m gone? Give me my edges, my boundaries!

And here the Puppet kissed his brow for good luck and tossed himself to the sharks.

More fiction at Used Furniture.

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