pester

Three Days of McKay – Part Two

By Edele Winnie

McKay came back the very next day. Hester was going out for breakfast, which today meant black coffee. There was a young man seated on a bench across from her building. He was wearing shiny black pants, a black shirt and black boots. His hair was dyed black. She could not see how tall he was because he was sitting.

“I took your advice,” he said to her as she passed. “Got some new clothes.”

He stood up then, painfully short McKay, all blacked out. It caught Hester by surprise and she almost said something but bit her tongue instead. They walked together in silence. Entered the coffee shop one after the other, sat at the counter on stools side by side. He ordered what she was having. The barista asked if they wanted separate bills. She said yes. He said no.

She turned to him. “Okay, let’s get through this. This isn’t going to work, you know? I don’t need a boyfriend. And I don’t want you.” (more…)

Three Days of McKay – Part One

By Edele Winnie

“I will slash my legs!” McKay shouted. He held a pathetically small pocketknife above his jeans. “I will slash them wide open!”

Hester sighed. “Go for it.”   She pulled out her much more substantial switchblade and threw it at him. “This’ll do more damage. Go for it.”

It had been a torturous three days. McKay had first appeared at an art exhibition opening put on by an ex-boyfriend of Hester’s. She had come of course, because several of the paintings were nudes of her, but also because she wanted to see who he was dating . She hung on the edges of the chatting drinking crowd; a tall thin scarecrow girl dressed in black with stringy dyed black hair and rather nice black boots with silver buckles. McKay approached her, dressed in jeans, like he wore now, and a green plaid shirt.   But it wasn’t just his clothing that marked him as out of place- or his short stature- or the no-nonsense cut of his boring brown hair -he seemed to be bouncing off things like a demented ping pong ball. (more…)

Better than One – Part 2

By Edele Winnie

Sheila’s dead aunt had made a pile of tin cans in Sheila’s kitchen. The horrible shrunken head had respawned there and then rolled out smiling its sickly yellow gray smile.

“Wassup?” The head said. “I’m thirsty.”

Auntie turned to Sheila. “Do you have any Lime drinks?”

“What?”

‘Something lime. He likes limes.”

“Not lemons.” The head shrieked. “I hate lemons!”

“No.” Sheila stammered. “No limes, sorry.”

Auntie turned and walked to the front door and went out. Apparently to get something lime.

“I think I’m losing my mind.” Sheila grumbled.

“Better than losing your body.” The head said and then cackled delightedly.

“Wait.” The head ordered when Sheila began to walk out of the kitchen. “I can make you live forever.”

“I’d like that.” She answered, and forced herself to look at the thing. It was shrivelled and brown but its eyes were bright and alive and staring back at her. She went over to her big flour bin- a plastic container only a third full of flour at the moment. She snapped off the lid and dumped the flour into the garbage can.

Wassup?” the head said. (more…)

Better than One – Part 1

By Edele Winnie

Sheila found the shrunken head after her aunt passed away. The poor old woman had been a miserable crank pot. Even though Sheila was young, she had done her best to make Auntie comfortable in these last months, but the shrivelled old woman had only been angry and full of complaints. Her habits were extremely odd- she hoarded empty tin cans and set out hundreds and hundreds of unbaited but ready to snap mouse traps. As far as Sheila could tell there were no mice in the house.

When it was announced from the hospital that Auntie had passed, Sheila got to work. She’d bundled her short dark hair under a kerchief and rolled up her sleeves.

There had to be thousands of empty tin cans in the house and Auntie had removed all the labels. Sheila loaded them into boxes and dragged them outside. She didn’t know if the recycle truck would take so many. It would probably require more than one truck.

At first the cans had seemed fairly new- still shiny. But deeper into the piles and stacks the empty cans were rusted and discoloured. At the very centre the cans were blackened with mould or age or something. In the centre of the blackest cans she found the head. (more…)