Artwork by Barrett Biggers
Listen to Suggested Audio:
Björk – Isobel
Deep in the forest sits a girl from nowhere chewing her hair in apparent despair. If you hide behind a pine tree, the one with the needles with no syringes, see she’s not gone blue turned to grey and there’s a chicken on her knee. She’s in quiet thought as she gazes into the flooded ditch. Her reflection ripples like her friendly hen’s wattles in the breeze. The sky is borderline aggressive but the girl doesn’t notice. Doesn’t care. She’s not even aware.
Spent shotgun cartridges litter the ground and up in the trees are rabbits with fatal head trauma. Thrown up in a competitive game by the hunters to see who can toss the highest. Tossers quite literally, shooting down does with fawns then pissing up a tree. Laughing in victory.
The girl tugs the rabbits down from the trees. Contemplating how they’re displayed like trophies upon the highest shelf. With her face crinkled up holding one of many of Bambi’s friends, she stuffs the hen into her coat, half fastening it so her head peeps out and heads along the winding path. Running and jumping over ferns not realising there is rabbit gore splattering on her jeans. Fucking jeans from that budget clothes store.
Some empty shotgun cartridges… they’d come in handy, she thinks, and stuffs a few into her ripped pockets. Evidence of prior over-stuffing with the grim and the absolutely fantastical. Eventually the girl reaches her special place. Constructed from ferns and branches of all sizes, an igloo of privacy her den protects her from the elements. Hides her over-enthusiasm for the remnants of life she’s collected on her many adventures in the forest. Conceals her from the hunters and more importantly, her parents. Dad doesn’t mind really but mum thinks it’s “dirty”. Dirty? No, the stash of porn under the bushes is dirty.
Cue a delightfully mad uncle. A man very much like Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter. Loudly approaching you before being seen with an exclamation of “Hello my friend!”. Whether you knew him or not, he called you a friend. Addicted to car boot sales, he took the excited girl to one. There, she bought a taxidermy duckling, weasel, microscope and dissection kit.
Armed with her anatomy book, microscope and dissection kit, the girl interrupted collected an assortment of dead animals and pinned them one by one to a cork board, exclaiming at the amazing world beneath the skin. Biology soon blossomed into full bloom in her curious mind and so, a journey began.
A journey of ridicule and brain damage until eventually, the girl now a woman marvelled at the world beneath the skin of the deceased in a mortuary.