by Marcus Speh
We travel through spring, slaying mythical beasts.
We keep a dwarf, who chews a precious stone for us. We often have to stop because the little man complains: we must turn him upside down and shake him until the jewel drops out and falls among lesser stones. We get on all fours, the three of us, to look for it among grey rocks and pebbles: checking, cursing, forever praising the Lord for having sent us on this journey, laughing, too, conscious that whatever greatness the world had in store for us we had to earn. Smitten with ingenuous, simple joy, we carry on through brown summer, through all seasons, all times, the three of us and the squirt.
We’re treasure hunters. We cross rivers. Dig in deeply. Swing centuries through the air. Fan flaming fires. Nose through documents gathered by the faithful in bushels. Encounter brothels along the way. Distracted, we halt and enjoy multiple views of humanity. Booze flows. Barbaric bellowing in the night. Strength through silence. Weeks later, we still crawl fox-like through underbrush, hurting our knees.
We arrive naked at the hut where the shaman greets us, demanding the secret word. We stumble. Swear. Scream senseless formulae found on maps buried in the bellies of sunken ships. Until one of us, a woman, a pirate of the hearts of men, draws the hidden hieroglyph into the air of a lush summer night, and off we go with the gold on our shoulders.
When we return, not a month, but a millennium has passed: the gold is time-stained. All our riches are worthless because nobody lives whom we loved and no spell will bring them back.
Marcus Speh lives in Berlin and writes all over the world. He’s got nothing to flawnt and is hard at work on a novel. He’s both creator and murderer of the fictitious prose-poet Finnegan Flawnt who has published flash fiction at elimae, kill author, metazen, foundling review, bull and other online venues.