“From Ribs Come Tales” by Christopher James

Image by Leonora Grceva

A story begins at the point where two characters meet. If I put Adam in a garden by himself we don’t have a tale. Adam stares into space drumming his fingers. He doesn’t even think about anything because he has nothing interesting to think about. Now if I put Adam into a garden with Eve we have the start of something. Both wish to reach out to the other, and if they do we have a story developing. Sadly they are unused to company and the delicate art of small talk, and no conversation flows, and we have a story collapsing. Adam blames himself for being unable to think of anything worth saying and Eve blames him as well. At some point pride demands they give up trying to think of things to say and independently they both stare into space, drumming their respective fingers, each of them pretending to be on their own. It is not much of a story, yet, but we are getting there.

I put Adam and Eve into a garden filled with flowers. “Look at the flowers,” says Adam, “aren’t they beautiful?” “Yes,” agrees Eve, “they’re very beautiful.” “Yes,” repeats Adam, “they really are.” Adam is pathetic. Eve is becoming bitter. She resents Adam for having nothing more interesting to say. In the back of her mind it occurs to her that she too has nothing to say, and she blames Adam for this as well. Adam wears nothing and Eve wears nothing and their bodies belong together. What’s wrong with him? She glares at him with mean eyes that she hides from him when he turns, and she hates him because he doesn’t beg her gentle touch. She pictures herself tearing up the flowers and throwing the torn petals at Adam like vicious confetti. Still they have nothing to say to each other.

I put Eve and Steve in a garden together. Steve is slime. He slicks his hair back with wet look gel, wears snake skin suits and throws his arm in the air to pull back the sleeve when he wants to check the time on his designer watch. Within half an hour Steve and Eve are screwing on the freshly mown lawn. Eve is wondering what Adam is doing. She closes her eyes tight and bites her lip and makes noises of ecstasy in case Steve cares whether she enjoys herself. He doesn’t. Adam is watching from the other side of the garden, hot tears on his face. He is digging his uncut nails into the fleshy part of his hands and biting his own lip hard enough to draw tiny blood droplets to the skin. He is cursing himself, and Eve, and Steve. Mostly he is cursing himself. He remains silent and listens to Eve’s moans and wonders how she can enjoy herself with that asshole inside of her.

I put Adam in a room by himself and he jerks off violently, thinking of Eve. Now he has plenty to say.

A story begins at the point where two characters part.


Christopher James is from London and around. He travels the world and works one underpaid job after another. He is currently back in England, with an eye on South America. His favourite animal is the jellyfish.

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