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Paradoxia Grande

By Alex Grantham All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Humor

Chapter 1

The first feeling of the day should be hope. Every day should start with it and, if possible, everyday should end with it. I’m a hopeful guy, love being optimistic, always seemed to be lucky, never had to know why. The universe and I have a very close relationship, it watches out for me, I amuse it. We work. For that reason, I am writing to you to submit my application for the newly opened Paradoxia Grande. As a candidate I think that my optimistic attitude would help in the creation of a very welcoming environment for patrons and staff alike. I have very many mental images of serene landscapes, both polar and savannah, that I can bring to muster in a moment’s notice. I feel that with minimal effort I would be able to come to terms with the paradoxia system and utilise it to effectively create worlds that are near indistinguishable from real-world locations. I have been preparing myself for this position in the hopes that this day would eventually come. Spending my time pursuing my hobby of literature, I feel, has provided my mind with a create creative flair. The numerous fantasy and science fiction novels I have read has given my imagination a broad tileset of objects for just this purpose.

Please find enclosed a recent copy of my C.V. and artistic portfolio.

Kind regards

Galileo Rook.

The kitchen sung with the morning light warming through the strung blinds and spreading like a blanket over the circumference of the room. Musingly, Galileo traced an inexact pattern of steps, stumblish, around a sequestered area of the kitchen carved out by his own motions. Unbecoming with the morning graces he allowed himself a pause, for effect, then a hand gesture and finally a shrug of his loose fitting cotton robe.

“Sounds pretty good don’t you think?”, eagerly, “maybe I use I a bit too much. not good for fancy writing. It all happens up here, with pictures. Putting it down on paper is something entirely different. I mean, how do you describe the movement of leaves on a whole tree? Can’t exactly list them off now, can you? … I suppose you could number all the leaves but even then… Nope. words and stuff are a poor imitation of what goes on up here. That’s where art is you know. Up there in the mind, where it’s completely useless to anyone. Can’t ever get it out.” Having spoken himself into a grand manner he ended with a more exaggerated shrug and awaited diligently a reply.


Nonplussed he continued unabashedly feverish. “That’s what the Paradoxia is going to be good for. Finally, we’ll be able to see the art in someone else’s head. I can’t wait, I’ve got so many things going on up here it’s like an art gallery. But of worlds. Oh yesss, it’s going to be Fantastic. Yes yes yes. I cannot wait.”

“That’s good”

“Good! It’s fried-awesome.” His thoughts turned momentarily to the air of frying and its smothering waxy inhalement.

“Excited are we?”

“It’s getting closer.”

“Come on, I know you’re worked up but she’ll start repeating what you say Leo and then she’ll sound like a god awful Northerner.”

“It’s only your ignorance of a different culture showing. Her voice is no reflection of her character or her ineffable charm. In-eff-ible?-able. How many syllables is that?”

“I don’t know. Can you at least hang up the washing”

“It’s too late.”

And it was.

“Why is it?”

“Because it has already begun Sophie”

A primal urge for merriment overwhelmed reason into Galileo’s singular focus.

“No it hasn’t”

“The spirits have descended. It is that time again. The gods must be appeased.”

“Do the washing and then have your fun.”

“I am but a slave to their will Sophie. A vessel for their divine purpose.”

Fingers, quaking like so many keys being typed in the air, resonated with the expectant energy bubbling in the imagination.

“Do the washing.”

Then it began, slowly at first, just a hint of the ritual as he reached for his phone.

A few seconds later.


“Look at the hips, see that. That is one-hundred percent prime Latino heat right there.”

Self-assuredly sizzling, the proud hips blared the trumpet of the gods.

“No, no, not too close. You don’t want to get burned by the fire.”

The fire sparked once his fingers had danced upon the light-ice screen, marred by his touch, it remembered its oath to the advertisers before he was allowed his true moment. Rhythmically gyrating, gently swooning the air around him, he commands the volume to rise for Richie Valens’ La Bamba. The sweet song soaks the air with the sun-kissed serpentine symphony of his sensual hips and delectable legs. From the wood panel floor to ivory walls, parsed by a gloss white dado rail, the music reverberated making subtle changes to the skin of the peaches. The light coming from the east facing window over the top of the sink, was tainted by the red roll-down blinds creating a velvet warmth through which Galileo cut gracefully and with flair. She did her best to ignore him, but his moves, were, relentless. Sliding and spinning like a ballerina maddened by her own sexuality he grew ever closer to her ample flexuous body. Gently, at first, his hand grazed her side, letting her know the dance was coming, the dance of desire. A quick pirouette and he was back-facing her, his head turned seductively and his lips pursed through his unkempt beard. She twinged. It may have been a smile but he knew it was more. It was a favourable death in her eyes. The dance was an unstoppable force of nature, wild and destructive. Its magic bounced from washed plate to plastic bin bag of unhung clothes, nothing was unperturbed by its gestural magniloquence. But just as soon as it started, the song ended, the spirits of the dance could slumber again. Galileo stood still, posing to her left and resounding the air with self-satisfaction. She went back to chopping potatoes on the wooden chopping board with light and dark brown streaks. She was using the red knife; her hair was in a bun.

“Sooo, I was thinking”

Frustratingly distracted, a moment of irritation barked a higher pitch than was accustomed. “When do you ever stop thinking Galileo. When? You’re never paying goddamn attention.”

Galileo was staring idly at her face, confident. Content.

“If you only knew the massive amounts of nothing that goes on up here you’d be surprised. Nothing at all most of the time. I think most of the time I’m just looking at stuff and mind touching it. I mind touch you all the time. All-the-time.”

“You were saying”

“Yes! I was saying, ermmm. There was something. Give me a minute. Give me a minute. Nope, wait. It was a letter.”

“I got a letter?”

“Nope that’s not it. It was… Bread! That was it! It was bread. They sent us a form to fill out and we can get free bread for filling it out.”

“If you want to do it then do it.”

“Great. It had a picture of an old guy on it, he was holding corn.” Olive tanned, with a beige top, smiling off camera to the upper left. Grey-white hair, full, combed perfectly in the sun-shone fields of wheat. Pearly-white teeth.


“I had it about five minutes ago. You know me, surface memory blind. I can remember putting it down on something but the colour, I’d like to say marble, but there’s a possibility it could’ve been white, or wood. Or perhaps even some clothes maybe?”

“Why does it matter?”

“People want my opinion about bread, Sophie, and are willing to give me bread just to get it! Do you know what an honour that is?”


“It means I’d be so knowledgeable about bread that companies would hire me to unlock the complex mysteries of taste with a critical eye and enquiring mind.”

“They’ll probably see you for the idiot everyone else sees you as.”

“Idiot? Perhaps when it comes to things that are not bread related. Surely I am the world’s foremost bread authority, from which there can be no disagreement, because as far as bread is concerned I am the be all and brea-n-d all. It sounded better in my head.”

“Naturally.” She conceded gracefully.

Assuredly Galileo was pleased with the exchange as it was. “I’m glad we’re in agreement then.” He turned about and busied himself looking first in the low cupboard, idling and then to each subsequent cupboard in turn looking for sustenance. Closing the cupboards disheartened, he returned to the kitchen surface to resume searching for the letter, it was not there, as it had previously not been.

Out of politeness she quaffed. “Well I’m taking her out this morning, we’re going shopping. Do you want to come?”

He headed towards the door “Of course not. I hate shopping.”

“I didn’t think you would.”

Lingering. “No, I got stuff to do anyway. I need to rewrite that covering letter about a million times until I can get rid of all the Is in it.” Turning about face, Galileo dolefully stared into the other room, the something-nothing part of his brain was ticking over possibilities, none of which were original.

“Have fun”

Realising he had gone to the wrong door Galileo broadsided the kitchen with a quick grope and then loitered about the door a moment. Taking stock of life, it was regular and enjoyable, the everyday warmth of understanding. He turned to the door, a symbol of adventure, what lies beyond a door is always a mystery. Even if the door has been opened a hundred times and always led to the same place, sometime or other, surely, it leads to somewhere new. He thought.

The whitey-yellow bed sheet is wrapped around the clothes on the stairs and the bannister is slidey and bumpy. The wall paper is coarse to the fingers but only slightly as it ascends the stairs which have a brownish carpet. The light is on as usual even though it is the middle of the day. So is the bathroom light poking round the slightly open white gloss door with a purple towel hanging from its handle. A little girl in red dungarees and a yellow top skirts round the hall with a piece of tissue paper in hand. She isn’t there. She smiles with the dark red of her gums visible between her hand and lips. She gurgles jovially and turns back into the room. The office is neat. Has all the books laid along the pine shelf perpendicular to the window and has the T.V. and couch positioned on the opposite wall. The desk sat in front of the window it was bright as ever at this time of day. The little Venus fly trap sat open, the remains of the last meal still stuck to its inner lip. Black dried husk of a fly.

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