Alphabet of Scratches

By NORMAN LOCK

 

from Alphabets of Desire & Sorrow: A Book of Imaginary Colophons

 

At St. Mary Bethlehem (which the world calls Bedlam), Jeremy Watt, shut up for insanity, discovered in a maze of scratches scribed by others’ lunatic hands an alphabet with which he might invoke things not apparent to the eye. So it was that on a late November afternoon while winter rehearsed in the soot and shadows of the ward, Watt alchemized the asylum into a Moorfields mews where—in a fusty upper-storey room—his wife, who had denounced him to the magistrate, was partnered in adultery with a pie man. Uttering an uncouth scratch of noise (unintelligible to the madhouse staff), Watt slaughtered her remorselessly with an airy dagger—
a perfect telepathic murder for which the pie man was condemned and hung.

 

 

Norman Lock has written novels and short fiction as well as stage, radio and screen plays.

Click here to purchase Issue 03

Alphabet of Scratches

Related Posts

Tree

May 2022 Poetry Feature

By ELIZABETH METZGER
For now, let us choose not to remember / who said History repeats as Tragedy then Farce, / and who else / repeated such nonsense / with variations because, friends, allow me / to be pedantic, just this moment. History repeats / as Tragedy more than once.

sunset and forest trees

Hummingbird Tantra

CORRIE WILLIAMSON
Red draws their tiny eye, and every hummingbird / feeder you can buy blooms a plastic, stoic / ruby, effigy of flower, tadasana of red. Already / they have eaten me out of sugar, but forgetful today / I’ve left the sliding porch door wide, and on my couch / a cheery wool blanket...

Headshot of J.D.

Side Mirror

J.D. SCRIMGEOUR
You’re floundering in flashes of light and dark, / so after a few minutes you scoot inside / because January’s cold, and ask your wife for help, / embarrassed you can’t do even this simple task. / She peers over her glasses, studies the tape, / then returns it unstuck, separated...