portion of the artwork for Bobby Parker's story

Bobby Parker

The little potatoes are dancing in the bubbles, hobbling around the boiling water in the rusted saucepan. They are alive and they don’t like being boiled. I want to feel sad but it’s hard to imagine anything else for these potatoes, other than getting soft in a dark cupboard.

I want to feel happy that they will make me happy by filling my belly, but I don’t feel sad or happy, watching the potatoes dancing around the saucepan in the boiling water. My life is a store room behind a shop that’s going out of business.

Sirens scream outside our window like a fairground having an anxiety attack. My wife tells me the caravan across the street is on fire but a caravan doesn’t have feelings, not like potatoes.

The windows are open and we can hear people shouting and jeering, bottles smashing, girls screaming for attention, dogs barking—someone has a megaphone and they are saying FIRE, FIRE, ha ha ha ha

I don’t turn my head to look at the burning caravan or the police cars or the idiot crowd because I don’t want to offend the potatoes. “It’s OK,” I say to the boiling potatoes. “I will put you with chicken and mushroom pie and mixed vegetables and cover you with thick beef gravy. Won’t that be lovely? Won’t that be a fucking dream come true?”

Return to Archive

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 30 | Fall 2010