portion of the artwork for Ian Sanquist's fiction
Arlington Cemetery
Ian Sanquist

In the story the author dreams, everyone is reduced to their cosmic opposites. Karma, the author murmurs from his sleep. Karma.

There’s a long stretch of desert, and an oasis halfway between two imperial cities that are perpetually at war with each other. Someone informs the author that his goal is to find treasure. Of course, the author now feels like the Andalusian boy from The Alchemist, and feels, therefore, like an even more inanimate etching of that book’s author, as he wakes feeling nauseous. Still, he supposes, lifting his eyelids and thinking about calling a nurse, if he can rile hope and passion from the spirits of millions of readers, and shake hands with the tails of comets, why not say the right things? All he needs is a cardboard box, maybe fitted to the exact dimensions of St. Christopher’s head, and then some academics or some soldiers to chase it across North America.

But in the story he dreamed, everyone was reduced to their cosmic opposite. Everyone was lying on the floor of a maze, and the sun was coming up. Somebody had just dropped a pair of false teeth into a glass of water. Somebody had flushed a toilet, and the sun was coming up.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 36 | Spring 2012