SmokeLong Quarterly

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Getting the Message

Story by Roderick Leyland (Read author interview) March 16, 2005

I had the bellyache I read my mother’s book it said speak to your pain I said hello, how are you? the book said ask where it’s come from I said where you come from? the book said ask for its message I said hi what’s your message?

But I still had the bellyache so I went to the library I said I want a magic book full of spells to take away the pain she said have you read Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets? she said you’ll like it so I took it home.

But I still had the bellyache so I went back to the library and said this doesn’t work it’s not true she said oh you want non-fiction I said yeah I want real magic conjuring tricks she said make things disappear I said yes she said see over there by the internet computers I said yes she said that’s magic.

I still had the bellyache when I went outside there was a girl she said have you still got the pain I said yes she said come here and put her hand on my face and said what’s that like? I said soft and warm and that she said kissing my head I said nice and warm and when she kissed my lips I went all wobbly and that she said I said I went all wobbly.

And now where’s your pain she said I said I forgot about it I think it’s gone. look harder she said I did and found only half of it I said half the pain’s gone she said where’s the other half? I said I don’t know she said I’ve got the bellyache now and I thought oh oh I heard about this someplace and we laughed and she said what are we gonna do about that? and I thought and I remembered mommy’s book Ten Tips for Bored Housewives: Release Yourself from Domestic Strife and I knew what to do.

I crouched down and said hello bellyache how are you? where do you come from? I said have you got a letter for me? she said do you think there might be another way and I thought and I undid her blouse and then I kissed her belly.

Now she said you’re getting the message.

About the Author

Roderick Leyland was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1949. He was trained as an actor and worked in the theatre. He has also worked in retailing and financial services. Stories and articles have appeared (or are forthcoming) in SmokeLong Quarterly, BuzzWords, Peninsular, Countryside Tales, Scribble. He lives and works in Brighton, England.

About the Artist

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison’s work here.

This story appeared in Issue Eight of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Eight

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