1751 c/o Dan Hogan

naked people wearing clothes made by other naked people wearing clothes

vanessa is a horse in the year of the horse. vanessa will remain a horse in the year of the dragon, too, because vanessa is a horse in a horse’s body. the years haven’t always been the best parts of hairy for vanessa. nor have they been so sweetly equine by name. the years have been hairy, yes. bad hairy. laughter won’t pass now. vanessa is very important to what happens next for a lot of us.

naked people wearing clothes made by other naked people wearing clothes roam the streets. they are armed with cricket bats. some on rollerblades, several huffing e-cigs, others mounted on segways, all chanting “piss off penguins.” the naked people wearing clothes made by other naked people wearing clothes (NPWCMBONPWC) are en route to lynching an empire penguin colony developing the upper north side. it is a mild tuesday.

pensioners and wild youth litter the park. traditionally, the empire penguins feed on the peanut butter of human tears. having syphoned the peanut butter from a victim’s tear ducts, the penguins will discard their prey’s tired body on the park grounds, ignoring the allocated bin. these people, waiting for their tear ducts to self-replenish a reservoir of peanut butter, spend the day tattooing each other with guns they won on ebay.

somewhere in the park, a tired but no less wild youth rolls a dead moth up in its wings and smokes it. crematory spliff style. it’s what the moth wanted. the wild youth celebrates Moth Life by deliberately standing on an unexploded salad bar. the air is heavy with a confetti of lettuce leaves and balsamic rain. leaves collect on the wild youth’s body. a skin-coloured bystander, feeling the buzz of celebration, quickly lays down beside the wild youth. their heads tap together as shreds of cold lettuce leaf come to rest on their eyelids.

vanessa is galloping on a treadmill at the gym when she gets The Call. she immediately returns to her car and drives to the beach where she launches The Canoe. history will know her by the GoPro camera attached to her helmet. the surf slows down. she rows into the centre of the sea and begins the evacuation by convincing a family of whales to beach themselves. the whales half breach and nod, resignation darkening in their eyes, saltwater welling in their blowholes. the whales knew this day would come. they take out their headphones and torpedo themselves toward the beach. each family member listens to a personal beaching jam. the plan is for a slow evacuation. a pulse-away-from-pause kind of slow. vanessa rows back, anxiety wheezing in her big lungs. her role in the evacuation is complete. muscles cramp in her neck. she slows her rowing and focuses on a slit of light occupying an uneven length of the horizon. she neighs.

vanessa places her oars in the sea as her non-biological heart sours. one oar floats and the other sinks because it was carved from an ironwood with a specific gravity of 1.3. she naps. the sun is not unpleasant. it is a mild tuesday.

with a neighful shriek, vanessa and The Canoe tumble into the shorebreak. the thick waves punch her into the sand. she rests on the shore, shifts of seawater washing over her cramps and pinched nerves. hundreds of NPWCMBONPWC come running over the sandhills like a sheet of ants, some still wearing their rollerblades and stomping hard. they descend on the whales. vanessa leaps back into the water. hiding behind the shorebreak, she keeps only her eyes and nose above water-level.

eight NPWCMBONPWC run off carrying a giant pectoral fin above their heads. one person collapses as their ankle breaks inside their rollerblade. the group’s balance diminishes and they topple over, the giant pectoral fin lidding them to the hot sand. the trapped NPWCMBONPWC caterwaul as the sand blisters their faces. vanessa sinks a little lower in the water.

mother whale is beached further down the shore. not by choice. Sometimes that’s the way the sea tumbles, says vanessa to her camera which she holds in the selfie position.

NPWCMBONPWC spread out around mother whale’s body. the wild youth pops up in the shorebreak beside vanessa with a wet lettuce leaf stuck to their cheek. two NPWCMBONPWC stand on mother whale's back. the wild youth looks into the lens of vanessa’s camera and explains, It’s basically normal cricket rules. Mother whale's back is the cricket pitch. One NPWCMBONPWC bowls a lime to another NPWCMBONPWC who tries hitting the lime with a bat. The aim of the game is to score runs. Score the most runs, win the whale. You can be caught out but not if the lime explodes. An exploded lime is automatically worth six runs. Also, you’re out if the lime hits the wickets neatly stabbed into the rim of the whale’s blowhole. vanessa watches the lettuce leaf slide off the wild youth’s face into the water and thinks about eating it. down the beach, NPWCMBONPWC assume fielding positions around father whale as well. the wild youth swims away. vanessa neighs. two NPWCMBONPWC hammer the wickets in and lettuce leaves churn in the shorebreak.