Lizard Nick I

Lizard Nick coughed and spat blood into the snow covered sidewalk. The buildings on either side were set far back in the trees. Nick shivered, pulled tight his coat, and scurried through the morning, dragging behind him a dead peacock, which had long since congealed and ceased leaving stains on the snow. “What a mess. To whom can I turn to? I’m amazed I got out alive. There’s a person, now.” 

Coming up the road from the other direction, a woman stumbled through the snow. She had cradled in her arms a bundle of twigs. “Hey woman. Give me your twigs.” “Sick man,” she said. “What?” “Sick man with a bird in his arm.” “It’s a peacock.” “Keep it away.”

Nick can see the woman clearly now. She wears a brown frock coat that hangs open and tall boots. Underneath, a red shirt is tucked into her belted waist band. The woman eyes Nick suspiciously and positions herself to avoid him. Nick blocks her way. “Listen, woman. Have heart. My peacock and I have stumbled for many minutes through the cruel snow. We are tired and in need of warmth.” “You’re a dirty boy.” “Maybe so, dear widow. It’s a terrible thing to leave a boy to suffer when he needs help.” “What’s that bird?” “This? It’s merely an honorary bird. It’s the kind of thing any respectable youth might carry around for status.” “I don’t like it. Put it down.” “I can’t do that. It’s my property. I cannot abandon my property here in the middle of the road.” “Get out of my way.” “Am I in your way?” “You’re a dirty sick man.” “Your heart is cold as the snow.” “I’ll call the police.” “There are no police around for miles, dear widow. Only yourself and yours truly.”

“Listen,” Nick says, and the camera zooms in on his face. “This bird will be eaten by my bedfellow and I. It will be boiled and mashed, creamed and sliced, and fried in a fine butter wine. The feathers will be made into prayer beads, and the eyes into a rope for my bedfellow to hang himself with. Nothing can entice me to release this bird. This bird is my meal. A man is nothing without a dead bird.” Nick emphasized the word nothing. “Then I’ll go,” the woman says, and she walks straight ahead at Nick. Nick obstructs her way. “Maybe you don’t understand, dear widow. I will not be stopped.” Lizard Nick reaches into his mouth and pulls out a red handkerchief. Tied to the red handkerchief is a blue handkerchief, followed by a green one and an orange one and a teal one. Nick coughs and out of his mouth beetles fly. “I ah no oriary mah,” he says…

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