Friday, February 10, 2012


Like a random thought, Little Moses was cast adrift on the Phlebitis River, cribbed in a reed basket. Upstream, at the edge of the palace, the Pharoah's daughter, Helsinki, noticed the leavening-bread-shaped baby bobbing among the rushes. "Don't eat him," warned her servants. Helsinki had him swaddled in Egyptian cotton before she ventured in to the kitchen. Like a yeast infection, Helsinki had a baker's addiction. The sight of the doughy baby had spurred her urge to bake bread. For the next 15 years, she filled the palace - and the boy's stomach - with an ongoing product line of loaves, sticks and tarts. Like a stretched bread crust, the spreading Moses could consume no more. On his 16th birthday, he left the palace with his flock of sheep (a gift from the Pharoah) and roamed Pyramid Valley in search of a burning bush.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


"I fry with my little eye..." began Theresa's weekly ritual. The prairie girl was gifted beyond reason. The first in her family to develop kitten ears, she could detect the tiniest wind-whispers of the wheat through her stuccoed bedroom wall. Because of an inherent stir-fry genome, her eyes could sizzle succulent steaks and seafood with one gaze. Each Friday, her father would bring home the pond-caught trout. Once gutted and rinsed, it was Theresa's duty to cook the fish - with a focused feline ray - to perfection.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Madame See-Ying came from a long line of fortune tellers. Her great grandmother, Empress Xiang-Wei, ran a house of cards in Sichuan province. Settling in the Yucatan city of Merida (with her Mexican husband, the visionary painter Ramón Futuro) just after the war, she set up her studio - A Thing Or Two - where she foresaw the futures of heat-hazed travellers and curious locals. The Mayan people, knowing a thing or two themselves about the future, would give her tips gleaned from their elders' stories. The topic of the Mayan calendar would often come up in conversation. Why, everyone wondered, did it end in the year 2012? One old man told her it was because the writers had caught flu - and were too ill to advance the dates. Another claimed, with great authority, that it had been misinterpreted - and actually continued to 2102. But the Madame - with her mental channel tune-locked to the divine - knew the answer: by the end of the year 2012, with limited space for the world's departed souls, there would be no more room in heaven.