|Illustration/Photos: Lelsie Lengert of Capilano University|
Two-Tone's body was blurred by a frantic flapping of wings. The eventual fading of the storm of feathers revealed the limp figure: flesh and bone twisted in a formation of a swastika. Left in dirt, because he jumped.
At a distance, the flapping of seagulls had disturbed some electricians. "Did you hear something, Will?" asked the older of the two. Will’s response was limited to a shrug and a continuation of his work.
"Just some electricians, nothing else."
Arthur sat in his chair gazing at the images of blood clots forming within his drink. The crimson dots began to spiral downward within the glass, creating a vacuum. The blood began to overflow the edge, spilling forth a wall. A glass so thick on all sides round, as one great furnace flamed.
Arthur shook his head trying to manage the sight: it developed into a glass of orange juice. The peyote was starting to wear.
"Dad? You there?"
There was knocking at the door. "Yes," he bumbled. His beard scratched against his neck as he struggled to get up, "Yes, just a second, dear."
As he began to walk towards the door he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror: his darkened skin matched his eyes all of which was nicely wrapped in a sweater that appeared too small.
Arthur waddled over to the door and opened it, revealing his daughter, Cleo, and her boyfriend, Aleksander. "I'll make some tea," said Arthur.
"Have you been smoking?" Cleo queried.
"Ingesting actually, but I’m almost off it right now." Arthur continued to look for tea bags.
"How long ago did you take it?" Aleksander asked.
"Lets see," Arthur did his best to remember, "I remember doing a bit a day ago when I was reading Paradise Lost. That was the 20th, because it was the same day that the news reported some lunatic worker’s suicide at some construction site."
"It's the 24th now," said his daughter.
He Hasn’t Been Born Yet
And so Aleksander sat, and he wrote. He would always write about his interests, what he considered important. He wrote his essay about abortion while listening to "Father Cannot Yell." Aleksander often sought creative inspiration while listening to music, although the ambience was fractured with its share of disturbances. Cleo was practicing her experimental poetry, constituting a decibel level high enough to fatally injure small rodents. All while her cat, Lemmin, was attempting to sing along to his master's poetic ventures.
Karoli started in on his little guitar ditty; or was it Schmidt's keyboard part
? Aleksander always had trouble deciphering the two; it did him no good to point it out to anyone else.
Making an incision through the middle of the music, Cleo continued her vocal orchestration – only on verse eight of a total 37 – while she applied her new lime green eye shadow within the bathroom.
"But how can I justly write on abortion?"
When I haven't been born yet; he hasn’t been born yet. He had to turn off the music, for it no longer served its purpose.
It had begun to bother him.
Arthur did what he was told in times of crisis: he rescued his loved ones. Cleo, his baby girl, he held her tight as he motioned away from the flames, one arm over the child's face, shielding her from the gases. Behind them their sacrifice of wood and materials burned away with her mother. Cleo, too young, still asleep, didn’t cry; Arthur kept her safe and (her mother) didn’t make a sound.
Walter carefully put on his shoes of 24 years – putting on his left shoe with extra caution over his damaged foot – ready to leave his apartment to go to his place of work, to quit.
He was branded Wally Two-Tone in elementary school because of his rare skin disease that had an uneven effect on his pigment. Much like his skin, his ego was left uneven from beatings he received from school kids curious if his condition had made him more sensitive to pain. Because of this, Walter would not feel the touch of a woman for several years, eventually losing his virginity at the age of 34 to a girl named Cleo who told him she was 25 – age 17 at the time. The last he had heard of her was a rumour of an abortion – either way, the would-be embryo wasn't his.
At college, Walter developed a love for the saxophone, baritone and tenor, giving new meaning to his once-annoying nickname. After his condition had spread at the pace of morning glory, his love of the saxophone fluttered away as his lungs pickled.
Now at the age of 38, Walter's most recurring problem was an infected foot, developed from an accident at work that was amplified by his prior condition.
Luckily for Two-Tone, leather shoes never go out of style.
A man with a rash stands and watches a girl as she is bullied by a group of people wearing high school sweaters. The girl had deep black hair, the darkest the man has ever seen, and bright pink lime shadow that in no way matched her complection. By the time he noticed her eyes the group of kids walked away.
"Why were they abusing you like that?"
The girl, startled, turned to face the older man; she struggled for a second with her words.
"What’s your name?" the man asked.
"Those were just some younger girls that knew me a while ago," she was still struggling to explain, "I'm 25, I graduated when they started high –"
The man looked down at his leather shoes, and rubbed his neck were the rash was. "More like Two-Tone."
"Yes." He paused.
"It's fine, nothing to worry yourself over," she assured him.
"How could you know?"
"Is it something fatal?"
"It's not anything yet."