Sticky Like Baked Chicken by Dave Migman

Ho, it’s hot. A car park stopover 4pm scorching and I stink – yesterday’s beer and fake Mexican food oozing from armpit pores. Looks like marmalade – little birds are plucking out their feathers. A pigeon has fallen into a tinfoil crisp packet and bakes there. The leaves of the trees droop like crispy, green tears. I feel the sun on my chest.

My girlfriend asks me why I stink: have you been playing with yourself? How correct she is. But I don’t tell her. She just picked me up from her brother’s house. While he’s at work I use the net. Dirty little mind goes straying. I wound up on some gothic slut site and my gland jumped out of my pants. Stroke me Harry! Stroke me HARDER! Couple this brief exercise with this rotten heat = stink bomb.

There is a plastic bottle melting in the lot. A mother pulls up. The child groans and slaps her in the pus. I’m about to get out the car when my girlfriend returns.

As we pull out the lot she snaps at me “Please don’t move your arms!” and “Ah god, the smell?”

I take a long, deep armpit inhalation “Reminds me of granny’s pussy.” Mandy breaks down in hysterical laughter. Ha, jokes on her, she thinks I’m kidding!

Tearing through the traffic, past the soap dodgers and the human cones. Past the sun addicts with their bubble melanomas.

Another lot.

“Meat for the BBQ.” She dashes inside the mini market for a pack of sausages and a sirloin steak. She loves her meat, my Mandy.

Waiting again. Can’t get the picture of sausage out my head. I’m burning up. This goddamned heat! On the wall opposite there’s a poster of Santa and snow. The palm across the street looks like the top of a gigantic pineapple. Who knows, perhaps that’s what palms actually are! They make me smile and that takes my mind off the sausage baking and blistering on the grill. Just then a young black dude walks by singing a song, disturbing my happy thoughts.

When we get back to her parents house I run to the back garden and dive into the pool. The surface is covered with a layer of drowned butterflies. I don’t linger long. I climb out, body slick with faded wings.

But what actually propels me from the pool is a shadow I see from the corner of my eye. It spooks me, I fall to remembering the story I once heard of the man in the pool.

MAN hatches EGGS

The man in the pool.

Derek Henderson, a mild turkey necked tycoon from Utah dived into the holiday pool at Club-med Morocco. He saw the shadow in the water but thought nothing of it. He believed it was just a submerged leaf. When he drew his tanned body from the water in front of a MILF he’d earlier spied, he was greeted by hysterical screaming.

Looking down Derek was appalled to see a huge arachnid crawling from his boxers. It wasn’t until he returned home that his groin began to itch. One night in the shower he checked his testicles for lumps, as was his monthly custom. Lefty, no (sigh of relief) righty, phew! Middle… oh shit!

The extra ball swelled despite the doc’s assurance that the problem was merely glandular. Three days later he woke in a delirium, clutching his tight testicles. They felt like they were going to explode.

He woke the next day when something tickled his ear. He opened his eyes. The tightness of his ball sack had gone but there was a new sensation, a burning. He pulled back the covers. The bed was full of small spiders, they were pouring out a small hole in his third testicle.

So with that in mind I smooth down my butterfly coat and seek the comfort of the BBQ, drawn there by the odour of sausage and Mandy’s hideously deformed quim.

Calco the Dwarf looks like the remnants of last night’s fare. He is the ugliest little bastard in the world. His face is a wedge of disfigured beef, puffy and beetroot red, tiny lopsided eyes leer from the fleshy veil. Ugly little sonofabitch. “Back in the day… this would never have happened!” he has that Boerish rut to his words, the aggression is plainly evidenced as he launches into a diatribe of Apartheid days, when the white wash ruled and everything worked. Mandy ignores him, piling logs in a tower and applying the flame.

I love the smell of burning wood. I wish I had an ice cream that flavour. Right now, to staunch the fucking heat. Even the rippled plastic above the BBQ area is perspiring. Waxen drops splat onto Calco’s bald summit.

“… back in the day when the Kaffir knew his place!” Stupid little runt, what a crock. I take a beer from the fridge. I decide to ignore him. Eventually he will deflate. He gets smaller every day. The stupid racist fuck.

“Fuck these people!” Did I say that aloud? He stares at me, his mouth is a bloody anus with a black rat tongue lodged up it.

“Fuck what people man?”

“Them all.”

“Yes, I agree. Bloody Kaffir…”

“No Calco, fuck you, explicitly, fuck you and all your kind.”

“Harry, leave Calco alone.” Mandy chides me. Like I were a little nodding dog. I sneer at her gorgeous, athletic back.

Calco glares at me. He starts to go on about rugby. I can visualise him as the ball, passed around and booted up the arse.

Oh Africa, I think. How you have been despoiled by the brutish mind, a wall of sausage, a shroud of pen pushed greed. Your flow has been interrupted, corrupted and here, in this southern tip, gangrenous and fallen, the rich play out their lies, walled inside their mansions, barred within, counting out their trinkets and shining up their pearls (swine).

I stare at Calco. I stare through him, beyond him, his 4X4, the private security gorillas in their van, the rooftops of Cape Town suburbia, to the mountains where the trees are ignited by the sun and the smoke rolls toward the city and I realise the future lies there, in the furnace and the nothing that ensues.

Dave Migman is a writer, artist and stone carver. His filthy dreams and fantasies have seeped into hyper reality. Slowly, but surely, his is infecting the system. Louse, weevil, cuddly toy, he is all these things and more. Dave Migman now lives in Scotland in a room filled with eggs. Some day they will hatch.

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