by Lucinda Kempe
In the noon
heat, on the North West side of Gough Island,
near Isolda Rock, a small white figure with a
tufted tail-tip is standing upright on the shore,
swinging a lasso like a cowboy.
says Mouf to the long, curved beaked bird as the
lasso tightens round her figure, and pulls her
down towards the sandy beach.
squawks Tristina D. Albatross.
gonna eatcha, too. Mouf gleefully roars,
and reels her in.
she screeches and coughs simultaneously as Mouf
drags her closer and closer. She bends her
elegant neck back when she finds her beak
touching his pink nose. She considers chomping on
his dandy button, when an overwhelming aroma zips
into her nostrils.
shit, she says. You stink!
Lawdy-Mighty-Tighty, limburger cheese is a
delicacy. Its smell is heaven, says Mouf
Uncouth Rat, undo this noose! Theres no
munching happening today. Tristina bats the
eyelash of her single eye, which is right in the
middle of her forehead.
says Mouf, who whiffs under his armpit, then
looks at the bird girl. You have a good
nose but by god, are you ugly. Unnerved by
her sole orb, he loosens the rope.
Whatll we do instead? He asks,
covering his fraying courage.
Youre one nasty fraud. She cleans her
watch a show bout a Chilean who ate
himself sauced with tomatoes? Just you and me
tugetha snuggly? Mouf smiles. His pointy
canines spark in the sunlight.
Just like a sugar-talking, low-dealing rat. No.
Tristina preens her feathers, and perches on a
low-slung rocky abutment. She throws her head
back, opens her throat and screams.
I hear Mama calling, says Mouf. Gotta
go. Maybe we could do this again sometime?
says Tristina who looks behind Mouf and sees an
enormous bunting with a cross-bow aimed right at
the middle of his torso. The bunting winks at her.
Ive got a date with a hundred
thousand sucking mosquitoes the rest of my life.
whooshes through the air. Its tip thwacks as it
pierces Moufs body which is lifted up and
over Tristinas head and dropped into the
green water of the quay.
round in time to see his body kerplunk into the
Atlantics depths. The last vocal sound
heard before the waters swallow him forever is
little lush! Way to go Bettina! Same time
betcha! B. Bunting slings her bows
strap over her shoulder and toddles off.
twitches her elbows prepping for takeoff to
Hags Tooth Peak known for its rodential
residual criminals is a job. The damned Anglo
Saxons brought the miserable critters here. Worse
than the buggering Greeks! How many more oily
slickers can creature dome take? Mancruel? You
She flicks her
neck, and her white wings flicker as she propels
into the bluing atmosphere to search for the next
scurrying white body with murderous intent and
cosmic ruination in its mind.