Three Bad Dreams by Bobby Parker


A machine that you go into as a pig and come out a sausage


The sausage looked so lonely


in the chip shop window


I had to buy it.


But I made a mistake


because the sausage was evil.


As soon as I unwrapped the soggy paper


I knew


this was a diabolical purchase.


I just get that spooky feeling about stuff


sometimes.


Like our German room-mate’s


well-worn Birkenstocks.


Bastard things in the world.


I carefully placed the greasy sausage


onto a clean plate that was still


a bit wet from the dishwasher.


It looked fine.


It smelled fine.


I threw it away and left the room.


That’s when it spoke to me,


with a voice like a chewed-up dog toy


squeaking in the depths


of the kitchen bin.


Do you want to know what it said?


No, of course you don’t.


No one wants to hear


what an evil sausage


has to say.


I did find, however, if you pay attention


to such phenomena


you can access the truth.


You sense the wickedness


in your surroundings


and the cruelty


in your neighbours.


At least, that’s what I thought


until Sock Head told me


they arrested Henry:


‘Why do you think


he always stayed with friends


who have small children…’


I threw up yellow string


by the side of the road


and started worrying


about everyone I know.


Were they evil?


I couldn’t tell any more.


That’s when I walked by the chip shop


and saw that godforsaken sausage.


I was vulnerable, you see.


The thought of carrying a device


that connects us


to more human suffering


than the brain


can possibly process


suddenly appeared to me


as a severed head


floating


through an empty supermarket.


I was feeling guilty


for neglecting my family.


My poor nan has been waiting


months for me to visit.


She lives two streets away


from the chip shop


in a small flat


full of fake cats


curled up


in cute little baskets.


She used to paint the same ugly horse


over and over again.


Never told us its name.


Maybe I’ll go see her tomorrow.


I need more information


about the beast she sees


creeping out of the asphalt.


It's my favourite story.


Nan loves telling that one,


her flimsy hands mauling the air