Big Whimper

by Yves Jaques


He swings the hoe at his brother and it lodges deep into the neck. The brother stumbles to the ground.

Somewhere a click is heard. An annoying background whir dies out. There is nothing but white light and the blowing sound of a fan. Then, there is another click and the whir starts up again.

He pulls the hoe out of his brother’s broken neck. The brother gets up off the ground and shakes his head, vertebrae making little popping noises.

They walk across the open field to a little wattle-and-daub hut, its open door swinging in the rising wind. They enter and see mother and father asleep on the dirt floor. The boys kneel before mother’s stomach, and climb inside her. They roll a moment in the amniotic fluid of her embryonic sac, but her belly shrinks and they are reduced to a gleam in father’s eye.

Father wakes. He mounts his wife, pushes a few times, and pulls out, his semen coursing out of her and down his urethra to pool in his vas deferens. He touches his tender scrotum with surprise.

Mother awakes, marveling at her virginal belly. With her man she backs out the door of the hut. The wind picks up, tearing at the mud bricks, blowing the walls to the sky.

They stumble propelled by the wind to a little gate that opens on an enchanted garden. A sword, whistling and swinging in dangerous arcs falls a rusty knife as they enter through the gate and into the shadow of a tree.

They clutch their stomachs in sudden agony. The man vomits an apple into his open hand. The woman stares at his smooth and elegant throat, the lump gone. She reaches slender fingers into her mouth and pulls out a white and red chunk. It fits like a puzzle-piece into the apple. She takes the fruit and lobs it high into the branches of the tree.

She stares down at her leg and sees that she has been dragging a snake about. It pulls its fangs from her heel and writhes in the grass, vestigial legs pushing out from its shiny body. She jumps into the man’s arms and he folds her up like origami. He opens a hole in his side and sticks her in.

The wind picks up again and draws the garden into its typhoon eye. The man blows out his breath like a gut-punched boxer and goes fuzzy at the edges, the wind blowing him into the cosmos, and he’s gone.

The next part is where god gets lonely. But there’s another click, the whir dies down, and the celluloid bubbles and melts across the bulb, the filament popping from the heat. Big bang. Darkness. Nothing but the blowing sound of a fan.


Yves Jaques can be reached at