voices from the fictionary

I can’t seem to remember how they fit together. Paint for the palette. It’s not the canvas itself, but paint for the palette. We can’t see the canvas. There is no canvas. No one makes canvas anymore….”


by david moscovich



Voice Zed Prefers to Remain Anonymous

Raindrop dangles from slowly drying wood boards. Stacked against a hollow log. Handwriting on desk reads as list: Lightning Rod, Shoulder, Panda, Seat Belt, Erasers, Skillet. Handwriting at all angles – begins with right slant, straightens, then slants left. Straightens out again. A forgotten plaque, copper, almost horizontal. Pivoted on porous surface. A picnic basket, an oar. A right shoulder pad, detached from the original checkered Parisian blazer. Mechanical pencil sharpener. Deodorizer. Small red basket. No telephone. No doors. No right angles at all. A blurry cascade. Mostly gray. Emulsion. Some kind of sedative, perhaps. Tincture, pure. Something else. Hint of thyme. Rubber ball, shrinking in the skillet. Getting smaller in the frying pan. Diminishing. Diminishing. Cayenne pepper. No, chipotle. Definitely chipotle. How much did you spend on tickets, anyway?

Voice Haytch is the Vice-Principal

I found one of the old telegraphs: Pasture, Salad, Debate, Time Zone, Dimple. I can’t seem to remember how they fit together. Paint for the palette. It’s not the canvas itself, but paint for the palette. We can’t see the canvas. There is no canvas. No one makes canvas anymore. All that’s left is the crusted paint, flaking up your uniform. In this school, consider yourself lucky to have found another student. Because there are no teachers. There’s Professor Smell, but she isn’t registered. The school is a sold-out gymnasium costume party. Eighteen clowns arrive in a blue luxury sedan. Two or three drunk Santas show up, one of them by tricycle. There’s a clever Czech girl in a shimmering black slip with FREUD written on the nape of her neck. Pastoral eyes. The Greysuit got here by standing in one place for thirty years. That’s impossible. That’s success. There’s a debate going in the red corner, fresh rainbow popcorn. Salad bar included with price of admission. They’ll paint a dimple on if you can’t afford one. Admit it, you’ll pay. This meeting is adjourned. This meeting will never happen. We can’t offer an apology; we haven’t the budget.

Voice Nantonka Interviewed Himself on Pop Radio

Concentrated psychedelics in a large garage. Professor Smell leads the exploration. A biologist specializing in the ecology of sea otters. Coated with crude oil, they eat fewer sea urchins, amplifying the sea urchin population, decreasing the kelp and therefore the fish population. Let’s go over that one more time. Fewer sea urchins, more sea urchins, kelp decreases, fish decreases. Sea urchins explode, freshwater fish go extinct. Sea otters die. Is that clear? Professor Smell throws a puffy blue Cookie Monster bag across the room. Each of us takes a pinch to smoke. Let’s say the drug is called Howloosanation. We all lift off at once. Except for one. He’s driving when it hits him, which changes things for all of us. We’re packed into the minivan. Fifteen of us, legs, arms, bellies indistinguishable. The moon enlarges, fully eclipsing the meandering road. Now it’s immense. Now smaller than a nickel. Now a tortilla. Now larger than ever. The road disappears. The radio announcer is talking about the craters on the moon. The limb of the Copernicus Impact Crater. Asclepi. Arzachel. Babbage. Sharp left at the Mare Vaporum. From here we can see the crater floor, several floor mounds, a rim, and rayed ejecta. Rayed ejecta. The lunarscape is magnified before us, underneath us, above us. We’re orbiting the earth’s moon in this vehicle – no doubt about it.

Originally published:
Issue Forty-Eight
April 2007



David Moscovich writes flash fiction and is currently procrastinating two novels, three novellas, and a magazine featuring fiction and interviews with noise musicians in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. He lives in Fukuoka City.  More From David Moscovich can be found in the Vault of Smoke.

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