05-08-16

Fatigue glittered across his brow. The two-fold harm, its twin destruction, left him four-square and rigid. “Your mouth, your mouth!” sang the small, dark girl, jubilant and cocksure. “My mouth?” the sailor said wordlessly. “Your mouth, your mouth, so square and flat. Your mouth, so square, just fancy that!” sang the small, dark girl, cycling tauntingly round him. Four-square and rigid and building a rage as hot as a furnace, the sailor felt his legs pushing down into the earth. Through his square mouth, shaped like a letterbox, he bellowed, “My mouth, my mouth, so square and flat!” Anguish echoed all around. Tears sprang in his eyes. He was not a thing, he knew that much. And yet, his rigid legs pushing down into the earth, his four-square body belied this knowledge. The temptation of a heavy load, a weight, a pressure. 5CWT or more, he seemed to understand, a pressure greater than could be borne. He chose his words. “My mouth, my mouth! My mouth, my mouth!” The small, dark girl cycled back from the middle distance. “You chose your words?” she seemed to ask. His square mouth grimaced. His eyes flashed fear. Here was his sorrow, at last.

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