Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 12
Autumn, 2013

Featured Excerpt

Zoltán Komor


The moon perfuses the small loam-houses. The women in the village open their eyes all at once in the dark rooms. The snoring of their husbands bruises the skin on their foreheads. Obeying the commands of the night, they crawl out of bed, put their clothes on, and convene in the town square. Giant knives glint in their hands. The stars waltz on the sharp edges.
'We must behead all the poultries!' tells a woman; a small pendulum sways in her detergent, dried hand.
Soon, they drift the chickens. The animals pass around their scared clucks. As the women begin to whistle, a little girl arrives with a basket full of light bulbs. The wives pull apart their pillows and make a fire with the spilling feathers. In its red, shaking light the poultry-slaughtering begins. They pinch the scared birds between their thighs, and with one definite cut, they chop off the heads. Like steam, the sound of cracking wreathes in the night, as their husbands turn in their beds with the crook of the dream in their skulls.
'Keep working, ladies!' orders the woman waving the pendulum. 'Let's crown our houses with light!'
The women take out the lightbulbs from the basket and screw them into the birds' blood spurting necks. They fit perfectly into the chickens, and immediately, the glass-fruits begin to shine. The birds—as if losing their heads didn't matter to them at all—begin to sweep up and down in the light of the bulbs' glory.
'Go home!' the women order the birds. 'Wake my old man up because the sun is not going to rise today!'
The chickens begin to strut towards the houses. The women continue decapitating. Someone gets an old wheelbarrow. They throw the bird-heads in it. A woman tries to speed up the job. She sets up a small guillotine and puts on a black mask.
'Afterlife grows in your maws!' she chants. 'Death is like sugarcoat! There's no darkness in Hell! I'll send you where the fire always shines!'
The heads in the wheelbarrow begin to cluck.
After chopping every chicken's head, the wives return home. A little girl shoves the wheelbarrow away. She pours its contents to the pigs. The still clucking heads disappear in the swine's sloopy mouths.
In their bedrooms, the women get between the sheets. The eyes of their husbands slowly open. Next to the bed, bulbs walks around in chicken legs, purring light.
'My dear husband!' the wives begin to groan. 'The evil horses dug a gutter in the sky, which channels the light of the sun. There will be no sunrise today, so let's stay in bed till tomorrow arrives!'
The starter pedals of men: they wriggle out of their old pajamas and climb on their women. The wives float in the dreamy light of the chickens, spreading their legs.
'Come, you devil, you!' they filter their word through their yellow teeth. Soon, the whole village begins to moan and groan. Drops of salty sweat run between their asscheeks, falling into the lightbulbs and fizzling. The sound of clucking from the stomachs of the pigs—dark clouds begin to neigh above. A door handle grows into a little girl's mouth. She opens her lips wide, so her little brother could have a peek. The boy finds a small door behind the girl's teeth and giggles when his small hands open the door, and he sees their tiny parents naked and wallowing on each other behind it.
The women are still huffing when they feel the movement of their insides. They each make a nest from the creased blanket and lay an egg in it.
'From now on, this will give us light!' The wives pat their husbands' shoulders, who run and screw the eggs into the lamps. The light of the eggs is so strong; the waning light of the chicken-bulbs cannot be compared to it.
'Better than sunburst!' the men laugh. Meanwhile, some problems occur overhead. The celestial horses had scratched out a bay for the channeled sunlight, but it looks like they miscalculated and didn't dig deep enough. The light begins to flood out from it, oozing at the village. This, added to the light of the eggs and the bulbs, makes so great a brightness that the whole village begins to stumble blind. They are palpating their doorstills on all fours. Their hairs sweep the floor.
'You brought too much light, woman!' yell the men in choir; their singing chips off the sawteeth. 'We are just ordinary moles! We can't bear your shine!'
'To whom can we show our true glory, then, if you are incapable of looking at it?' the woman cry.
But the husbands don't listen. They convene in the town square with spades in their hands. They dig a ditch and break the ice of the nearby lake, so they can channel the blazing light into the water. As the lake begins to shine, the fish fall in love with the wives. They surface and throw kisses to the ladies. The jealous men begin swatting the animals with their spades. A little girl arrives and collects the floating dead fish from the water, throwing them into a wheelbarrow. She then pours its content to the grunting pigs.
With dreamy eyes, the little girl watches the swine fumble in the fishguts. She pokes the door handle in her mouth with her tongue, like it was a sloppy tooth.
'One day I'm gonna stand in front of the mirror and open this small door in my mouth. Behind it, I'm going to see myself in a beautiful boy's arms,' she tells the pigs. 'I'm going to set a light so strong for that boy that the whole village will fall on the ground like a blind drunk moth. Only the boy won't go blind. It will be just perfect light for him to really see me.'
Fly swatters burn in the chimneys. The celestial horses lie dead tired on the cloud's pathways. Their giant chests rise and sink, tearing the petals of air.
Beneath, someone yells for the girl, who runs to the kitchen—leaving the smelly old piggery behind—and settles down to lunch. In the middle of the table, a bulb-headed chicken steams. The family eats in dead silence. The father sometimes open his mouth as if trying to say something. Maybe to placate his wife or praise her for the morning glory; instead, he remains speechless, chewing the meat with downcast eyes.

Zoltán Komor writes: I'm 27 years old and from Hungary. My first book, a novel titled Mesék Kaptárvárosból (Tales from Hive City) was published in 2010. I am the editor of Katapult Kortárs Alkotói Oldal, a site that focuses on neoavantgarde and postmodern literature, abstract paintings and electronic, mostly experimental music.