When cutting a headstone in an as yet to be determined timeframe, the family of Hans Rausch might well consider remembering him as a man of precision.
Not the sort to be late to his own funeral or indeed anyone else’s.
That’s not to say that Hans was an impatient man. On the contrary if he were a man to believe in such sanctities as sainthood, Hans Rausch could hold his own with any halo bearer in a game of wait quietly and, quite frankly, would wipe the floor with even the most patient pietist who dared challenge him to a quick round of who blinks dies.
Simply put, Hans was a stoic soul who would not stand for sloppiness, tardiness or unnecessary delay.
Which is why it is particularly odd to find him in paragraph five crouched beneath a weeping mulberry in an untucked shirt on the front lawn of an unassuming bungalow on the outskirts of Wolverhampton.
Hans is also struggling to process the situation. He knows a lot but remembers nothing. He knows he finds the mulberry to be an imprecise and disappointing fruit not fit to lick the boots of a mango but he has no recollection of how he came to be alongside the bush. He is equally hazy as to the whereabouts of the world in which mulberries have opposing thumbs and quake in fear at the passing jackboots of oppressive mangos but harbours the sense that he’s been there recently.
Speaking of sense, Hans is certain that at this very moment he should be inching his way towards the bungalow’s dimly lit and window-blinded kitchen and yet his innate metric sensibilities shriek in horror at the thought of taking such imperial measures. He places his hand on the cool head of a garden gnome who once held a fishing rod and breathes deeply. He centers and is flooded with the memory of a wife and child.
Another man’s perfect circle of happiness is this man’s equilateral triangle of joy.
Hans smiles a symmetrical smile, lies down on the fertile grass and stares up at the stars. From deep within the bungalow the precise chime of an ancient clock rises and then dopplers around him as the world begins to spin. What started as the ticking of the same clock becomes a rising tide of feet marching in unison along the cul de sac beyond. For a moment the air is filled with the sharp, bitter tang of cordite but as the smoke recedes Hans is left with the unmistakable scent of tropical fruit salad and the undertones of death.
Sort of like a papaya but less unpleasant.
See? This is why I deliberately don’t write down stuff that appears uninvited in my head and why I avoid writing any sort of explanation before or after a piece. Especially one that has a picture of a papaya/pawpaw (which ARE you…you…you…FREAK) at the top. Have you seen than fucking thing? It’s terrifying. Looks like the glistening bloated lips of some demonic orifice that’s just gorged on a remote peace-loving community of black peppercorns.
Or they might be capers on second glance in which case the shitty, salty little bastards deserve everything they get.
No amount of cream cheese or salmon can rescue you now.