The Unexpected Likeness of Beings

The Unexpected Likeness of Beings


The verandah was surrounded by paw paw trees, banana plants, frangipani – a creamy flower dropped to the ground and it’s perfume floated in the humidity. Thirty degrees. It created a languor unknown at home, where it’s winter and a warm day might reach nine degrees.

Rooster caws drifted out over the rice paddies. A crane crossed the sky like a white bride.

I looked down and turned the page. We are sitting here together, my digestion and I. I am reading a book and it is working away at the lunch I ate a little while ago.

That’s funny, I thought. I’d just eaten lunch – cabbage salad – and was reading a book. Then I heard crunch, crunch, pause, crunch. A yellow grasshopper as long as my hand was eating a banana leaf. The leaf, fluorescing lime-green in the sunlight, shrank by the second. In two minutes the grasshopper had eaten a third of it. Then it stopped, perhaps digesting too. The creature gazed at me with unblinking eyes, insolent – like a goat. I stared back. It crept inside the curve of the leaf, until only its front claws showed, gripping the edge.

I picked an apple from the fruit bowl. I crunched into it, crunched, paused, crunched.

As I swallowed, I heard another’s crunch. The grasshopper had started eating the other side of the leaf, a crescent of air grew between its claws.

I crunched: it crunched. A sort of chopsticks duet.
I balanced the apple core on the table: the grasshopper rested on the leaf’s exposed midrib.
Core and midrib browned in the heat.

Suddenly the grasshopper catapulted into the air where more cranes passed overhead, a bridal party of tulle and satin trailing legs frail as lace.

Tomorrow I would fly off; leaving behind my white dress, folded neatly as an origami bird.

Leanne Radojkovich’s flash fiction has appeared in literary journals in the UK, USA and New Zealand. She likes combining words with images and has a series of filmic flash readings on YouTube. She also posts stories around town as street art, and on SlideShare - where the reader clicks through the pages at their own pace, and the stories unfold like tiny, silent movies.

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