On the first Saturday, on my way to the farmers' market, I was accosted by Alice—of Wonderland
fame—and beseeched to rescue her friends, the leeks, from the tyranny of gnashing teeth. I did as
requested and bought every leek in the market, returning them to her, unharmed. She never
acknowledged me, but instead set about drawing faces on each leek and placing them inside
oversized milk bottles whilst—to herself, or to the leeks—singing: Over in Killarney, many years ago...
On the second Saturday, en route once more, I chanced upon a sinkhole, measuring a rough
three feet in diameter but, by the reckoning of all my senses, bottomless. I tossed in a ten
pence piece, hearing only silence until out spewed the riches of Babylon, El Dorado, and
ancient Timbuktu. But all turned to rotting flesh in my hands, seeping between my fingers
to the floor.
On the third Saturday, I awoke early—in a foul temper—and sat in my kitchen,
contemplating missing the farmers' market, as the fresh daylight broke over the
garden wall. The rays were blocked, however, by the materialisation of a
less-than-divine being atop my stove. She spoke her name and buoyed my soul with
the manic fervour of her inimitable tongue; she filled my heart to its very limits and
never blinked once. We shared a black tea, and out the door I went.
On the fourth Saturday, I made it to the farmers' market without prior
incident and found it deserted, but for the glorious wealth of fresh produce
available. I picked up a cauliflower and a force slapped it from my hand, I
picked up a bunch of spring onions only for the same to happen again. I held
out my hand, with coins in my palm, and watched them disappear. I took the
cauliflower and the spring onions, along with a turnip and some blue rice,
and cried with purposeless joy.
On the fifth Saturday—the rarest Saturday of them all—I instigated
the Great Farmers' Market Riot of 1992. I forget the exact reason
why, it changes often; I've said before that it was due to the
increasing price of mushrooms; I've also said that it was because of
the disrespect I received after laying claim to the final jar of piccalilli
from across the market. Whatever the reason was, it resulted in the
place going up in flames—the purity of the wares only stoking the
inferno. It went down in history as the largest fire created on Earth
and that's something I take bittersweet pride in. We danced around
the blaze for thirteen years, non-stop, forgetting life, forgetting death,
forgetting love and hate. Forgetting all but our shameful names.
Sean Cunningham is a writer of very short poetry and prose, from Liverpool. His work has appeared in Gravel, FIVE:2:ONE, Indiana Review Online, formercactus, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @sssseanjc.