First published on The Open End (27th November 2011) //
She was born there. Born there. Fell out there, onto the hay almost; the hay that tidily dressed the floor. She did not hit the hay that night. Some splashes did and the hay came back to life, for a moment.
For a second, some splashes. Born there. Fallen out onto the hay. They removed her carefully, the hands of a vet, took her away to be cleaned. Took her away to be cleaned, carried over the hay. She was alive, floating over it, in fat vegetarian’s hands.
The tidy hay. Her grandfather coughed often. He had lungs that behaved as if they were not his. Years of shifting turf with a pipe lit. Inhaling hay.
A pipe and lungs that were not his. She was born there. Alive there. On the hay. The hands stood over her and watched her, asking her to grow faster.
The hay needed tidying. They couldn’t wait. This was in Ireland.
Later they discussed how to assassinate the Queen. The grandfather took a shit because he knew it couldn’t be done. They only had hay, a newborn, a vegetarian and a pipe. It would take a genius to do it.
He couldn’t even be bothered, and he was the only one old enough to remember. He fetched his pipe and smoked some, then his lungs leapt out onto the hay.
Everyone was astonished.
The vet tried to put them back in but the grandfather wasn’t swallowing, because he couldn’t breathe.
They didn’t know what to do. The vet just sat there in the hay with black lungs in his hands. They dripped on the hay and brought it to life for a moment. They hated the Queen even more that day. The dead man was indifferent and most likely he was over the whole thing anyway.