Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Tongue

On Friday morning my tongue fell out of my mouth and onto the floor. It made a wet flip flop noise. I thought I might try to put it back in. I could sew it, maybe, or use magnets. But then I felt a wonderful lightness all over my head. I thought I might float. So I left the tongue there: it wasn't getting any dryer. If anything it got wetter, and it grew and grew until it was the size of a sofa.

I wanted to lie on it and find out what a tastebud tasted like. Then I remembered I couldn't. It was my own tongue, and I didn't have another. Of course, it was too big by now to fit back in my mouth. But I wanted it. It's hard for me to express how much I wanted it, that big, soft tongue.

So I crawled underneath it, and carefully cut off a small piece with a knife. I put the tongue-piece in my mouth, and it soaked up my saliva. But it would not attach itself. It just sat there. And the big tongue, it kept bleeding and bleeding from where I cut it. All the people rushed over, looking at the pool of blood and saying how sad it was that in this city not even a giant tongue is safe from the threat of knife crime. Then they looked at me with contempt and fear.

I said, 'It's my tongue. I'm not a criminal. All I want is a tongue that fits my mouth'. But the words didn't work, and the little tongue fell out and crept back, weeping, to the big tongue. It slotted back in to where I cut it, and the bleeding stopped. And everyone gasped as the big tongue started shrinking. It wept as it shrank. Finally it was small again. I picked it up and put it in my mouth. And that tongue, that warm, wet tongue, that beautiful tongue, it turned to stone.