Category Archives: Marcus Speh

Dreamcatchers by Marcus Speh

Two writers sat down for a meal, carefully avoiding any talk of their art. They shared stories of their wives and children, of cars to let loose on the fast lane, of tech gadgets to play with as only boys play, exploring all keys and functions. They mentioned their fathers in passing and how similar they had become to them. They had a laugh, and when the pretty waitress with the blond hair bun and the wide swinging hips appeared at their table, they flirted a little in tandem, kicking gallantries back and forth until the maiden culled one and appointed a winner of their innocent game, which made their three hearts beat faster for a bit and the food that showed up on their table the better. All the while, as they were enjoying a full glass of friendship, they were secretly spinning yarns like giddy spiders. When they parted, with a manly handshake and a hug for the road, each had a good tale to tell.

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MESSAGE by Marcus Speh

We are fortunate to live in times of great tenderness. To describe the intimate touch between two of God’s mad children whom we encountered today in the crowd, on the railway, we must use a metaphor lest someone presumes we want to poke fun at the less able as they’re called by well-meaning magistrates of human diversity. The normal people, as they call themselves, looked with suspicion at the crazies hugging in the train. They cannot figure out why the bozos, as they secretly call them, caress each other so eagerly. “You don’t need to hang on to one other”, says their minder, “just hold on to that pole”. His voice sounds practical but not dispassionate. “Okay”, says crazy Jim and as he grabs the pole, another one of the group with dark eyes puts her head on Jim’s shoulder, smiles and sighs deeply. Jim smiles, too. He doesn’t think he’s stupid. Neither do we. Before the train disappears in a dark underpass, I read a feverish message on the tunnel walls: “If everyone hunts the offender who stays with the victim?”

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Fruit by Marcus Speh

Constable Cocks knew a lot of words once – words like compliableness, cantankerous and counterperformance – until one of his pals called him a talking banana with a moustache. That shocked him to the core of an existence, which had been founded on hearsay, female assistence and newspaper cuttings only, so that he had always felt frail for his lack of solid knowledge. A man can live without his right arm, his grandfather used to say, but he can’t get on in the world without a brain. But a banana didn’t have a brain. It was mushy and though it looked vaguely masculine, it felt feminine as soon as the peel was off. Constable Cocks resented his being compared to a fruit. When he got home, he threw his boots in a corner and snortily spit on the ground.

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The Dead by Marcus Speh

Do dead men sleep better under a tree or in the deep, deep sea? A tree gave shelter, and the variety of animal life under its roots provided welcome distraction. The dead men in the sea seemed scattered somehow, lost in the chemical mess of dihydrogen oxide. The ocean was like one body swallowing another, a mountain of of bodies, sailors lost at sea, children taken by waves, drowned women. There was no particular place for reunion with your loved ones. A dead body in the sea turned into a new creature, not wormfood. It went grey, then green in the face, hair got entangled with anemones, fish built their nests in the hollows of its wounds, sharks took a bite out here and there, creating gory works of underwater art. Flesh in water looked like tailored tissue, blood became ink for the writs of aqueous gods.

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FALSE FAME by Marcus Speh

Sometimes I go to a bookshop to look for my books on the shelves. This is a total wank because I haven’t published anything but the young bookseller doesn’t know that. “I am awfully sorry, Sir. What was your name again?”, he says. “I hadn’t mentioned my name”, I say. “I thought you’d surely recognize me from the papers.” — “But of course”, says he, blushing as he tries to bullshit the bullshit king. “Well”, I say, “see you next week maybe – hope all is fixed by then”. He looks flustered, helpless, browsing around for older, more senior staff as I leave, smiling and waving like a visiting politician with a pole up his arse.

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Frau im Mond by Marcus Speh

It was clear to him that there was a woman on the moon, quite possibly waiting to be rescued since the Great Depression. Now that the macroeconomic cycle had come round again, as scientists all across the planet were busying themselves with explanations of why and how history seemed to repeat itself like a girl on a playground swinging back and forth and back and forth, few were thinking of space travel and he might be able to snatch a rocket from an abandoned shuttle site to visit that woman in her oracular wasteland, bring her back to Earth and find love once and for all.

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TIJUANA by Marcus Speh

Four sex shop owners met to discuss their dire dominions. Teri considered herself lucky: she had re-opened her establishment among beech trees in the park and the customers were flocking to her.

It’s like a fresh breeze, she said.

Jenna was thinking about selling pizza and porn. She’d had a Margherita the other day – that means no meat, she said – and when the pizza was thin and tasty, clients might feel inclined to take a flick home with the food. Especially couples, Jenna assured herself. Sarah had said little the whole time and when they asked her why she kept quiet, she said crustily that she was going to sell her concern to Tony Tonic, the adult movie star.

I feel a little sad about it, she said, I’m going to miss the free merchandise, but this man’s got a great name in the industry and I heard he cannot get it up anymore.

You don’t say, said Teri, his tackle is famous.

He feels useless now and a freak he says, Sarah said and sighed.

The last one, Marge, smiled cryptically: she was secretly in love with Tony Tonic, would double her profits by taking over Sarah’s shop and have a baby by January.

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