Creative Work: Short Fiction “Paleomammalian” by Leon Shoesmith

Creative WorksThe Words, Pauses, Noises team is ecstatic to welcome one of the new KUCWMA writers to the blog scene. Leon Shoesmith’s debut is a piece of eldritch flash fiction. In previous posts we’ve talked about the stunning effect that an author can engender through the use of flash fiction. Short, vivid bursts of emotion and sensation that draw the reader to a moment in time. The key to any short fiction, is to carefully choose each word of text to lay before the reader, and allow them to see in between those lines of text. With writing of this length, a reader can take the time to re-read, to delve into the stream-line narrative and explore the avenues the author has laid out. We hope you enjoy this mysterious snippet and be on the look out for more of Leon’s flash fiction in future Words, Pauses, Noises posts. 

‘Paleomammalian’ 

By Leon Shoesmith 

No, I wasn’t trying to steal anything!  Why was I in the couple’s room…?

It’s totally harmless.  See, everything in the universe is connected.  Two parts of a split particle, even when separated to a distance of the theoretical furthest edges of the universe, still affect each other.  I feel my actions have some effect on the sleepers, not one that you could measure, but some affect deep down in the animal, non verbal part of them.

I walk into a room and check that the person or people are sleeping.  I make no sudden movements.  I visit one room per night where somebody is sleeping and perform one unique act that does not yet have a name.  It could take seconds, it might take minutes, no, not sexual.  Maybe a handstand while pulling a face I saw on a Samurai mask, maybe I’ll put a pair of socks in my mouth and do twenty pushups, maybe I’ll perform a mime of a person playing a hand in a poker game or having lunch with my ex wife.

I savour the intimacy of being there whilst they sleep unaware of this unique event happening.  I never plan the act beforehand or anticipate how I might feel, that would ruin the purity of it.

The rhythm of their breathing and their unawareness is so comforting.  They’ll come to the front desk the next day and we will see and talk to each other and they will not know, apart from deep down inside somewhere without language.  I’ll take money, swipe a credit card, order a taxi, smile and make small talk. I was good at science but had to leave college after my father died.

You see we are part of the universe and my doing these acts is only possible because the universe wills it just like anything else that happens, otherwise it could not be.  And how can you say the actions of you writing what you’re writing on that notepad or that man over there using the photocopier are any more meaningful or less mimes than the things I do in the hotel rooms?

Recently I’ve a feeling that in the flats behind the hotel, there’s a man with a sniper rifle.  He spends whole days sat with his eye at the sight of that rifle and tomorrow or maybe next year I’ll be carrying a breakfast tray through the lobby and will fall abruptly forward, the tray flying through the air, making a mess and a din and my brains will be spilt all over the carpet.

Well, what will be, will be.  Look, please will you let me go now? I have to get back to the hotel, my shift starts soon and the day manager gets angry if I’m late.

Join the Words, Pauses, Noises team in welcoming Leon to the program, and the blog, by leaving him some words of praise (or critique… he’ll need to get used to that). That said, the team are excited to explore the talent yet to come from the new MA’s. Send us your work, we’d love to say we helped you! As you can see, we showcase many genres and styles so surprise us, and maybe even yourself. See you again next week for another taste of creative wonders.

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