My name is Finn Harvor and I’m a writer and artist, living in South Korea.  The past five months of writing on this blog has been an experiment in layering meta-fiction around a ball of simple and bizarre narratives.

  I hope you’ve enjoyed them.

 


 

Getting the Witch to Cough it up

 

   Joey Kim pushed his yellow bicycle along the stone walkway in front of the small house. The newspaper rack on the handlebars caught the ledge of a window and tore off a splinter of wood. Joey stopped, shook his black bangs from his eyes and looked around. The shack of a house was in ruins already and a heavy curtain was drawn inside. It wouldn’t be noticed, he told himself.  He continued pushing his bike faster but the front door still receded in the distance. It was a small house. Why was it taking so long?

   When he did finally reach the front door he was exhausted and rested his weight onto the U-shaped handlebars of his banana-seated bike. He stretched one arm out to knock on the door but it creaked open and out of reach. 

   “Hello?” His voice seemed to echo within the darkness of the house. “I deliver the paper. I’m here to get money for the paper. The newspaper.”

    Joey was new to the job. At ten, he was still new to the world but it was collecting money for his paper route that had proved to put him at a constant loss for words. He’d spent the evening stuttering and stammering out various requests for money.

    An elderly woman appeared at the door. Her eyebrows were midway up her forehead as if fleeing from her face and her long black hair also rushed back in shock from her shriveled head. Her nose pointed straight at Joey.

   “Money? I don’t have money. I don’t donate money for charities. Get money somewhere else for your legless orphans.”

   “No I’m the newspaper boy… carrier. I’m deliver… I deliver the Vancouver Sun.”

    She looked him up and down with eyes that narrowed into green slits.

   “Here’s your paper,” Joey said and reached into the delivery bag resting in the rack. The old woman at the door stared at him even harder as he held out Friday’s paper.  She mumbled something as she went back inside the darkness of her home. The door remained open.

   With a jerk of his head, Joey shook his black bangs from his eyes. He looked around and noticed how far the stone sidewalk snaked around the house. He wanted to go home to eat. He could imagine his mom in the kitchen putting kim chi in a bowl. 

   “Didn’t I pay you yesterday?”

    “You paid me a month ago.”

    “Oh yes. Oh yes. Time flies when you’re having fun,” she said and laughed a toothless grin. “I mean flies have fun when your time’s expired.”

   Joey nodded blank understanding.

   “I mean when you’re dead the flies come out to play around your corpse.”

    Joey breathed in deep.

   “That’s a joke. A joke. A play on words.”

    “I’m here to pick up your monthly payment,” Joey said.

   “Alright here’s your money,” the old woman shouted and held out a ten-dollar bill. Joey felt a jolt when he took the bill from her. He hated collecting. 

    On the front page of the paper students in Korea were clashing with riot police. Somewhere in the scene was one of Joey’s older cousins. Almost everyday his parents talked about life back in Korea. Most of the time Joey tuned them out. All he knew was that things were tough all over.

 

Advertisements