Page 53 - July 2021 Litterateur
P. 53

Cornelia Fick is a South African writer; she is the author of
                                                                Eye of a Needle, a collection of short stories. Her poetry and
                                                                short  stories  are  in  Itch;  Botsotso;  Experimental  Writing:
                                                                Volume  1,  Africa  VS  Latin  America;  Soho  Square  V,
                                                                Bloomsbury;  Atlanta  Review  etc.  She  is  currently  a  PhD
                                                                candidate at the University of the Western Cape.


                                                                              Cornelia Fick,




                                                                                 South Africa




                                                               FINGER MAN


                     “Can I play with,” he said, a ragged object with long, thick fingers sprouting out of his head. They
                    looked at him in surprise, those of fingerless heads, smooth, and well-kept. Not one of his species
                    had ever asked to play with the subjects before.


                     They huddled to discuss, and came up with a plan. The leader stepped forward. “If you play, your
                    fingers will get stuck in the game.”


                      The  rest  nodded  sagely;  they  were  six  prime  specimens  from  the  planet  Spleo  which  was  dark,

                    damp, in search of the sun. But the sun avoided them. Whenever they came near, it jumped away,
                    leaving tear crests on their hollowed cheeks.


                     Finger-man slouched away towards Bethlehem. At least that’s what the smooth people said. Fear-
                    conditioned, they always had the same response: no you can’t play, because if you play the sun will
                    never come to us.


                     Finger-man offered to bring the sun.


                     He cornered it where it was sleeping after a long trek across the firmament.


                     “Hey, you almost scared me half to death. Don’t creep up on a god like that,” the sun said.
                     Finger-man scratched his head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know how to reach you. You’re a hard one to
                    catch.”



                     “The right way is to make an appointment.” The sun frowned. Streaks of shadows and light rippled
                    where Finger-man stood in a posture of abeyance.


                     “In future I will.” Finger-man paused, thinking how to proceed.


                     “There’ll be no future,” the sun said. “Now, what do you want?” The full glare of the sun bathed
                    Finger-man.



















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