May 15, 2011

Tsuchinoko’s Wife, Part III

Tsuchinoko’s Wife, Part III

And so Tsuchinoko the mythical Japanese hoop snake began the long and arduous task of persuading his wife to fall in love with him. It began with small gifts, those that only a mythical snake can give: hairs from the kitsune, for luck, a breath from the Yuki-onna, for refreshment, and venom-paralyzed rodents, for a snack. All this, along with a fortuitous lie about the number of women he had been with during their separation, brought Tsuchinoko back home, and into June’s affections. Every day he professed a greater and deeper love for her.

Tsuchinoko flopped back on to the teal sofa, and June got him a beer. He slid on a pair of sunglasses. Tsuchinoko was fond of lies, and liked a drink.

Tsuchinoko’s Wife, Part III: Director’s Cut.

And so Tsuchinoko the mythical Japanese hoop snake began the long and arduous task of persuading his wife to fall in love with him. It began with small gifts, those that only a mythical snake can give: hairs from the kitsune, for luck, a breath from the Yuki-onna, for refreshment, and venom-paralyzed rodents, for a snack. All this, combined with a fortuitous lie about the number of women he had been with during their separation, brought Tsuchinoko back home, and into June’s affections. Every day he professed a greater and deeper love for her.

Tsuchinoko flops back on to the teal sofa, and June gets him a beer. He slid on a pair of sunglasses. Years pass. The slither of tiny scales. Rolling home at dusk. June eating the bulbous mulberries in the garden, her mouth stained crimson as the summer tosses freckles onto her skin. Small hands clutching at a summer dress. Hospital light, a bloodied nightdress. Silence. Voices in the dark, called home by the heady scent and crackle of roasting pork. The gleam of bottles, a living room eerily cast in shades of green and golden brown. June asleep, her dark hair coiled about the pillow as if for comfort. A woman’s voice on the phone, hushed and urgent. Tsuchinoko is fond of lies and likes a drink.

And one day, when the children are at school and Tsuchinoko is at work (liars make excellent estate agents) June sneaks into the attic. Light streams through a broken window, transforming the raised dust into a halo of fireflies. June searches, brutally, systematically, until she finds what she has been looking for. A selkie coat. Her selkie coat. Quickly, urgently, caressing the reeking hide in fit of passionate longing, June luxuriates in an ecstasy of fur. In the crystalline salt beads of her pelt she feels the siren call of the ocean. She throws it on. Sprightly whiskers snuffle for the doorknob, flippers lollop across the dusty attic, and June leaves for her selkie home.

In the years to come, the children will ask where their mother is, and Tsuchinoko will tell them she is working with the Rolling Stones. His voice will crack. The carpet is stained with a dark constellation of tears. Tsuchinoko is fond of lies, and likes a drink.


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  1. Louis Bond

    I really like most of the director’s cut, but I can’t make up my mind about the selkie part. It comes across as slightly arbitrary, when you’ve done such a great job convincing us that June is married to a mythological snake. But I might just be being stupid.
    It could be really interesting if you included both endings in your final portfolio. Like you can buy DVD sets with both the theatrical and director’s cuts, and you choose which subtly-different story you prefer.

    15 May 2011, 18:40

  2. Kirsty Judge

    I’ve stuck some foreshadowing in the final draft now, just some bits where she thinks about the sea and sticks seashells on stuff. Maybe that’ll help?

    15 May 2011, 23:41

  3. Louis Bond

    Off to have a gander….
    (ouch)

    16 May 2011, 11:46

  4. Louis Bond

    o soz, are you going to post the final draft? i’m sure its fine anyway lol =)

    16 May 2011, 11:49

  5. Jacob Andrews

    I really wanna know what the kids would be. This http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C4%81ga ?

    16 May 2011, 15:11

  6. Louis Bond

    Naga! Naga! Where’s mr sexypants-Illidan? xD He has horns… 2 of them! Gaaaaah! “YOU ARE NOT PREPARED
    hyperactive nerdgasm ends in death

    16 May 2011, 15:59

  7. Jacob Andrews

    I’d say ‘calm down Louis’, but you just died so you have.

    16 May 2011, 16:37


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