There were three of them: the
husband, the wife, and the lover of
stick-insects. There were four if you counted the percolating ink tripod.
It was neither large nor small, and its indeterminancy of size cast a constant
pall over the room in which they sat on crystal chairs.
Their house from the outside was a run-down two-roomer covered by
a thick canopy of evergreen raspberry bushes. The police car which had
chased the three of them into the house some 20-odd years ago still sat
with its radio on in the driveway, a pile of rusted frustration. The
inside of the house was totally covered by empty mantis egg cases. The
other room was empty except for a sofa of such obscene cleverness of design
that none dared sit near it much less in it.
It had been the same day for quite a while now--an invisible day
with the unmistakable taste of a tall, creamy glass of milk with pepper
floating on the top, and which would announce itself occasionally at the
door with a crash of cymbals, only to be turned away by the three.
The husband exhaled a purple belch. The wife studied him, and for
the first time she noticed that he was made of millions of tiny Chinese
people taped together. He also reeked of old carpeting and rubbing
alcohol. She was mildly repulsed.
The belch refused to dissipiate, and took the center of the room
for its own. The wife and the stick-insect lover looked at each other. Their
mouths opened simultaneously, and both emitted the same purple gas. The
iridescent belches formed into three floating balls jostling each other for
the center of the room.
WIth a clap of unseen hands they formed into one large purple
pillar that glowed with a heart of fiberglass and tacks. The percolating
ink tripod, long forgotten, was finally given scale and came to life,
"Ho-Ho"ing like a mechanical Santa. The sound became shrill as it warmed
Suddenly the pillar formed into one magna-volvoid and began
splitting off buds and turning itself inside out through a hole in its
southern hemisphere. Three of the buds formed into perfect, purple
likenesses of the wife, the husband and the lover of stick-insects. The
other buds scurried off to do unspeakable things on the sofa.
The three simalacrums opened the front door. The moon was a
luminous banana that shone through them as they walked out past the aging
policemen, who wished them a "Merry Christmas!"
And may all you in Fegland have
a Merry Christmas, too.