Saturday, July 6, 2013

Virulent by John Edward Lawson

One day, while gathering plantains, I happened upon a fruit-bearing penis. The thing was roughly the size of an adult, with large fronds and fruit of every type. I at first considered tapping it for sap, but in the end let it be. To ensure that this discovery remained unnoticed I did my best to obscure the path I had followed.
    At night I took women from the village up to that desolate area on the farmland’s border. Darkness hid the nature of the “tree” under which we made love; I felt it prudent to take advantage of such abundant virility.
    Inevitably my scheme was discovered when the women began birthing various fruits. Despite--or perhaps because of--the fact that the fruit was quite tasty (or so I was told) the villagers became unsettled. Roused by such obvious heresy they stormed the farm and burned my prized fruit-bearing penis alive, all the way down to the ground. This in turn ignited the underbrush, and soon the blaze spread to all the farm.
    I have wandered penniless and alone ever since. To this day I cannot decipher whether the plant was a blessing or a curse.

John Edward Lawson has published nine books, seven chapbooks, and over five hundred works in anthologies, magazines, and literary journals worldwide. He is a winner of the Fiction International Emerging Writers Competition, and has been a finalist for the Stoker Award and Wonderland Award. Other nominations include the Dwarf Stars Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Rhysling Award. As a freelance editor he worked for Raw Dog Screaming Press, Double Dragon Publishing, and National Lampoon, has edited seven anthologies, and served as editor-in-chief for The Dream People. Recently he became a columnist at IMJ, covering events in the publishing industry.

"Virulent" originally published at The New Absurdist
Copyright John Edward Lawson
Artwork by Max Ernst


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