The explosion was beyond big. The islanders spoke of a colossal white pillar shooting up, a giant mushroom head floating up off it, as if some strange white primeval creature had been decapitated, but no sooner had this happened when another head, smaller in size, began to grow out of it. They spoke of being struck by an immensely powerful yet invisible wave, one of extreme heat that scorched their skin like severe sunburn, which was so strange because then it began to snow. They’d never seen snow before but they’d heard of it, and their gazes were held by all the light flakes floating down from the sky . . . This snow was no cause for worry to the islanders, even the children dashed to play with it at first, it was so much fun. They laughed and ran through it, each trying to catch their share, while some opened their mouths to feel the snowflakes on their tongues and eyelashes. The ash continued to fall like the flurries in the glass globes at the neighbouring island gift shops. One shake and snowflakes fluttered magically down past the coconut trees, alighting ever so lightly on the sand.
In Amber's Wake
The great danger of lying is not that lies are untruths, and thus unreal, but that they become real in other people's minds. They escape the liar's grip like seeds let loose in the wind, sprouting a life of their own in the least expected places, until one day the liar finds himself contemplating a lonely but nonetheless healthy tree, grown off the side of a barren cliff. It has the capacity to sadden him as much as it does to amaze. How could that tree have got there? How does it manage to live? It is extraordinarily beautiful in its loneliness, built on a barren untruth, yet green and very much alive.
I was dumbfounded. Instead of a living, snarling, thrashing creature, all I found was an inoffensive sausage. Behind the sausage, dangled two meatballs, larger than Swedish meatballs yet smaller than stuffed tomatoes, inside a mitten of raw chicken skin. It did not look as appetizing as I in my most nagging moments of hunger had dreamt. Was it an outgrowth of former life, an intestinal casing filled with chicken, beef and pork? So I had been accurate in my hunches all long, man grows sausage links.
'I’m going to roll down the deck,’ Edith wailed. ‘I’m going to go overboard. The wheelchair is made of metal. It’s heavy. I’m going to sink to the bottom of the sea.'
'Don’t be silly. There are brakes. See here.’ Nancy pressed the oily lever in and out and showed how she could stop it on the edge of a coin – at the cost of a hard halt. ‘There are guardrails. I would never do anything to hurt you.'
After some hesitation she decided it was best to move on, but Edith’s upper body fell forward. The next thing Nancy knew, Edith was screaming, grabbing halfway around herself at nothing.
'Help me!' she cried out to by-passers. ‘Help me! Please!’
A Can of Sunshine