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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 3, September 2017
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Johannes S. H. Bjerg
Højby, Denmark


The Fish

Tired of the continued problems with my left ear I went to Dr. Alfred Schuster’s (Magicus Medicus Divinibus Grandissimus etc.) consultation office and spent a not insignificant amount of time waiting. After a full eternity watching worlds being born and go under again (a fancy wall decoration; digital, I think, even that bit when Shiva ignites cosmos) the good Doctor fancied to show himself. But not directly. In the totally white room I noticed a little green beetle crawl in under the door heading for the big central table on which books read themselves, illustrations kept evolving with humanity’s growing insights, and bottles and cauldrons bubbled away with odd fluids. The beetle reached the chair on the other side of the table and “poof” turned into the Majestic Medicus.

“Now, what seems to be the trouble?” he kindly asked without showing he already knew.

“It’s the ear,” I said and pointed to the left side of my head.

“Yes, yes, yes, yes… yes, yes, yes, I see,” he said stuffing his pipe (and managing to do so without getting all Magritte about it). “I thought we might try something new this time. Something I saw in a dream and instantly made a note of thinking it might be useful. I’d like to try and take it all out, all the inner bits and bobs that make up your inner ear, and put this in instead.” He showed me a little bowl the size of a small melon or a big grape fruit with a goldfish in it. “Don’t worry. If it doesn’t help I’ll just hit ctrl+z and you’ll be back to normal again. Your normal that is.” He probably meant that he’d wave his wand and undo what he had done. But you never know with him.

“Interesting,” I said and tried to imagine what it would be like having a goldfish co-inhabiting my head. Would the fish and my brain get along? Did it snore? Would it have to be replaced often? Would I get seasick?

“But it seems rather big, that bowl,” I said.

“Mh, mh, mh, mh… mh, mh, mh, yes, yes, yes, yes, I see. Of course only half of it will be inside your head, the other half will, sort of, be outside it. The little fellow needs light, you see. He’s a dream fish and does his best dreaming only when he can clearly distinguish between day and night and I will of course make a hat that will cover it somewhat. Of course you can take it out at night.”

“But then I won’t get the fish’s dreams?”

“Of course you will. He sleeps during the day.”

“Oh, that’s lovely,” I said. “Let’s try.”

“Consider it done,” he said and waved his wand and presto! I had half the head filled with half a fish bowl.

“Now, try it out for a few days and let me know,” the good doctor said and pooffed back into his beetle form. A scarab this time. “I’m off. I’ve got a sun to roll,” he said and began the, for a beetle, long walk back to the door. I’m sure he eventually will find out that it’s easier pooffing himself into a beetle once you’re where you want to be. But you never know. Dr. Alfred Schuster works in mysterious ways. “I will have the hat sent to your address,” he said in a tiny squeaky voice before leaving.

“What’s wrong with just waving your wand?” I asked but he was gone.

doing it again!
falling in love
with an ice cube

Now I no longer get infections and my hearing has improved. I can hear what people say long before they speak and I can hear the changing of the seasons and all that goes on in the earth and lots of other sounds. I guess I need to learn to shut some of them out but the fish really have some interesting dreams to share. This is one of them.

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