We’ll meet outside the city at noon, wheelchairs clanking, and I’ll teach you how to make out with a fox. Foxes have longer tongues than women. They will reach into your throat, down to your stomach. They’ll extract your truth, pleasuring you the while.
If you’re in pain, they’ll find its hard ball, stroke it till it dissolves on their black tongues. Don’t be afraid, they will do it at noon, under a tent of prayer flags strung together on three bamboo sticks. Three is magic: you, me, and the fox.
Your family tells you be thankful for what you got, of the way you can paint tracks on sand with your wheelchair. I’ll show you how to dance, walk on your palms, your head, your wrists. Who needs feet?
You’ll walk on your hands up the stairs to the fox’s parlour, festooned with painted scenery of wild geese and wars on the outside, painted inside a bright indigo blue. She’ll brush the stumps of your thighs with her tail, she’ll tell you there’s no tomorrow. No friends, nor enemies, only the living, now.
With the fox on your lap, your sorrows will be nothing, like phantom itches on your legs. You, me, the fox will dance. The fox’s legs shall make up for ours.
One of us will turn into a fox. You choose which.
On the way back to the city we’ll track the sand with phantom feet: ridiculous, like our sorrows, small as shadows at noon.
-- Damyanti Biswas’s short fiction has been commended at the Bath Flash Fiction award. She’s published at Bluestem magazine, Griffith Review Australia, Lunch Ticket magazine, and other journals in the USA and Singapore. Her work is available in various anthologies inAsia and she serves as one of the editors of the Forge Literary Magazine.