The Manchester Review
Neil Rollinson
The Field
print view

I'm Ruby, I'm nineteen years old and this is my neck of the woods. This is where I live - my kingdom of deep yellow grass and shuttered homes, of picket fences and the creaking wooden churches. It's a world away from everything here, it's not like anywhere else. Life is different. I see things different too. Like real close-up, through the lens of an eye-glass, real sharp, and I can hear voices wherever I go, from the past mainly, but sometimes from the future, and sometimes from people when they're unawares.
       Today I wake to a clear blue sky and a heavy, humid morning. I've been troubled by dreams: all sex and darkness and animals, the tinder-dry woods cracking like fire. I wake with a heavy ache in my abdomen. Last night daddy hit me with the back of his hand. I hadn't pleased him. He was drunk, but when I wake I feel the day will be auspicious. Something is in the air waiting to be discovered.
       When I find the penis, at first I think it’s a fish, or a slug, something the birds have regurgitated. It lays in the grass, curled, shrivelled, and dribbling blood. I wouldn’t give it a second glance normally, but it’s so particularly ugly and obscene. I bend down more closely, to take a look. An ant is making reconnaissance trips along it, backwards and forwards, wondering what to make of this fleshy slob laid in its path to the nest.
       This, I think, is somebody’s dick. I’m no expert, I’ve seen a few for sure, but I've never seen one like this. I look around me. The field is empty. I flick the ant into the endless green grass, and the body of the penis shivers in response. I shiver. But also I’m excited. Whatever the world has in store for its denizens today, whatever fates fly aimlessly around the world, this is mine.
       The ant is back. This is treasure indeed. I let it savour the bounty for a moment. Its brothers and sisters will be here soon, to carry it off like a trophy and devour it, feed it to the fat, bitch queen in the ticking heart of the colony. The severed end looks like a sausage, except the inner tube is hanging out, the urethra, like a tape worm, like something in the liver. It’s bloody, the blood is still wet, still dripping, still ruby red. This is a freshly cut cock. It’s bleeding out of both ends. I look up and around. There’s nobody here. It‘s all mine. The skin is pinched and wrinkled towards the pissing end; it pouts, kiss-like. All the beauty has gone from it. The broken end is ragged, awful. I'm captivated.
       I look up at the clouds, and the brilliant blue sky. Am I such a strange girl, I wonder? That’s what people say, but what do they know? I like my own company. I’m no angel, maybe, but I have a heart, and I’m easily moved to rapture. The world often seems magical, profound. I have my sad days too. I fear for everyone. Sometimes I weep when I see the future. But this day is a gift: auspicious, meaningful. Someone has lost their manhood, and I have found it. It isn’t every day you find a penis lying in the grass. Keep your eyes peeled and the world reveals its secrets. Cotton seed blows in the breeze like a blizzard, slow and graceful.