Passages

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I made the worst grimace in the world. A horrible face. I even scared myself: my grandmother always told me that a face could freeze with an expression, which is why one shouldn’t gurn or squint. But I didn’t believe her. I put all my fear and loathing into that grimace.

The inside of my mouth turned into a formidable cave. I stuck one hand into it and traveled through my throat, down the gullet, into my stomach and beyond. There I found a small door that I didn’t even know existed. I opened it and stared eyelessly down a long corridor. At the end of the corridor was a glass house. Outside I saw a field covered with mossy tombstones. There were shelves in the glass house, but they were empty and I knew these were shelves for books not yet written. I stepped outside and saw that the names of abandoned ideas were carved on the gravestones. I picked up a magical ring that lay in the grass. I slipped it on my finger, glad to see that it fit. I retreated through the glass palace and the corridor, closed the small door and went back up.

When I closed my mouth again I noticed that people were standing around me. A policeman explained to them that there was nothing to see and that they should move on. But the crowd demanded to see the ring I had salvaged from the depths of my digestive tract. I held it up. The people applauded, perhaps for no other reason than that I had obeyed them.

“What does it do?” said a man.

I shook my head, “I don’t know,” I said.

“Is it special?” said another. I shrugged.

The mob dispersed and I heard disappointed murmuring.

“Anybody can find a ring,” someone said.