It Could Make You a Little Sick


The bent man leaned on his scythe, sighed and sighed again. “Why am I so tired?”
he wondered, while the wheeling dreams of the darkness surrounded him.
In the last days a kind of distinction had befallen him. He seemed separate. He was
waiting and very very tired. He was cutting hay and he was sneezing and aching and he
was alone. Very. Until Stella.
When the storm arrived, so did Stella. Stella’s finger was bleeding. Stella’s life was
“I’m not afraid to do it again,” Stella said to no one in particular, but it was the bent
man who was there to hear it.
“Is light a virtue or a weight?” asked the bent man.
Way up in the heavens the current ache of the darkest hour was listening to the man
in the moon. He was a little sick.
“Why do you ask me that?” said Stella, bleeding more angrily now.
“I’m getting so dusty I can’t shine anymore,” said the man.
“We’ll just see about that,” said Stella, hiking up her skirt.
The bent man straightened. It was predictable. It was polished. It was too damn
So they struggled for a few years.
So then they set up an antique store in the garage. They tried to find the human in
One day a customer with a wooden arm came to pick up a butter churn and he said
as he loaded the cracked wooden albatross into his turquoise green Ford Bronco 4×4, “Is
light a virtue or a weight?”
Stella beamed.
The bent man said, “Perhaps we should file a petition.”
The Bronco galloped away.
Way up in the heavens the old ache of the darkest hour polished the pool of tears
the man in the moon had left before escaping to a remote villa in Argentina.
The police were nowhere to be seen.
The scythe was never recovered.
It doesn’t really matter that it’s true.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.