PodCastle 192: The Interior of Mr. Bumblethorn’s Coat


The Interior of Mr. Bumblethorn’s Coat

by Willow Fagan

Mister Bumblethorn slept through the morning, as he usually did, rising from his dry-as-dust bathtub just after noon. He stood in the weak light of the shaded window, his massive blue coat rumpled but still imposing. He did not even remember getting into the bathtub the night before, much less falling asleep in it. He yawned and shook out his arms. An antelope or a gazelle, tiny as a beetle, tumbled out of his coat sleeve and splatted on the floor below. Mister Bumblethorn studiously ignored this.

Bleary-eyed, he walked across his tiny apartment to rummage through the cupboards, finding no food except some stale crackers. Worse, his water flask was empty as a thimble; he held the thing upside down for a full minute and not a drop appeared, not a whiff of moisture.

Mister Bumblethorn sighed heavily. Into the blank space of his empty stomach, memories began to flow like saliva. Once, adoring folk had
thrust gifts of cheese and honeycakes at him wherever he walked: through the streets of grand Abadore, through the humble thoroughfares of nameless hamlets. Fingers shaking, Mister Bumblethorn rolled himself a fat spliff of redleaf. No matter how little the peasants had, they shared their suppers with him and refused any offer of payment. Damn it, light already. After all, he was–Ah, there it was, that sweet smoke filling his mouth, translating the stream of memories into a language as meaningless to him as the clicking prayers of the insectile priests in their hive temple on Wingcleft Avenue, his old life grown as insubstantial as their flowery incense, drifting away in the wind.

About the Author

Willow Fagan

Willow Fagan lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he reads tarot and cultivates dreams. This is his third story appearing in Fantasy Magazine. His fiction has also appeared in Behind the Wainscot.

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About the Narrator

MarBelle

MarBelle has a strange compulsion to watch as many films as he can get his hands on and find jobs that give him a legitimate excuse to drill filmmakers about their work. Directors Notes is the decade long incarnation of this disorder and remains so much cheaper than film school.

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