Friday, April 25, 2014

The Pensive Cutout; Short Fiction by Payman Akhlaghi (2014)

The Pensive Cutout
Short Fiction by Payman Akhlaghi (Draft 5)

(*) First published on April 18, 2014 at under The Pensive Cutout (Fiction).

I clutched the cup of cappuccino, sat in the patio of the coffee shop, and opened a large volume to an entry about tropical butterflies. Those wings. Those colors. Those streaming dreams. One red butterfly with large black dots shook its antennae, flapped its wings, flew out of the photograph, sat on my shoulder, and whispered into my ears, "Oh, man, why an encyclopedia? Next time, try some magic." Then she flew back into the book, chose another photograph, and sat therein still. A shiver ran through my body. It felt as if I was about to shoot sticky spider threads out of my wrists. It felt as if I was about to spew some octopus ink, or howl and shriek in fear and agony. But instead, I grew some long whiskers, and a paired set of claws. I woke up to the sound of the morning alarm, panting, soaked in perspiration.

I took a blow dryer to myself, shaved some tiny shreds hanging from my armpit, taped and painted over a small cut in my right thigh, straightened my left leg, put on a white shirt and a black tie, forwent the coffee, and pondered the long day ahead, to stand still for hours, to smile at every customer. I opened the window, bored and confused, and I let the wind carry me to my job, near the top of the escalator, inside the department store.

© 2014, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist and piano teacher based in Los Angeles. His repertoire covers Classical music, as well as Persian (Iranian) Music, Pop Music, and Film Music. For information on the lessons in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Encino, Brentwood, etc. please call: 310-208-2927. Thank you.

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