Northwords Now Issue 36

The FREE literary magazine of the North


by Phil Baarda

A dark cell-like room.
Two chairs.

Jak        Two chairs.
        They make do as a bed.

He arranges and lays down on them.

        Or sometimes a writing desk.

He arranges them, and sits, writing.

        At times, when I’m being fanciful, they’re a boat,

He arranges them as such.

        or a train.

He arranges them.

        Or a deckchair.  And parasol.

He arranges them.


He arranges them.

        Occasionally I might arrange them like they’re in opposite corners of a boxing         ring,

He arranges them.

        and then I might fight with myself.

        Once I made myself a house, and hid inside it for many hours,

He arranges them.

        Another time, I built a hospital and mended myself after I’d beaten myself up         in the ring.
        A hot air balloon.  How cool would that be?
        I could, fly away.

The door opens.

Officer        It’s time..

Jak        Now?

Officer        Now, prisoner 82914367A.

Jak stands on one of the chairs.  

The officer throws him a rope.

Jak fashions a noose and puts it round his neck.  

The officer throws the other end around a high beam.

Jak        Do I kick the chair?
        Can’t you kick it away?

Officer        No.
        You know I can't.

Jak        You can’t?

Officer        Sorry.

Jak tries to kick the chair he’s standing on, but can’t.  He tries several times, unsuccessfully.

Jak        Howbaout I make it into a horse instead?