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Dripping gently in the middle of a small wet room was Eileen, who recently had been thinking about what she was made of. The room was built of flesh and moonlight, brick and plaster, where the walls expanded…contracted as they breathed. Eileen had sometimes tried to follow her nose to the end of herself; she could tell where she had started, right in the middle, but these days it was becoming difficult to tell where she necessarily ended. This interior room was full of folds, and she often fell into them.


Eileen shared the house with friends, and in the night times, once they all came back from wherever they preoccupied themselves during daylight, would float past one another quietly completing their various evening routines until it was time to go to sleep. The house slept with them, slowly breathing under the dim glow of the moon.


During the nights in the house, slugs would frequently seep and crawl past the street and over the drive, through moss and pebble and mud, and make their way through the walls and into the house. Eileen and the house would wake up in the morning, find they weren’t as alone as they thought, and follow the silvery trails over linoleum to the kitchen. Whilst the tea brewed they’d pick up these soft dark slips of things and toss them back outside.


They called them the night slugs, which leant them a certain kind of mysticism; these things that slowly moved towards and tessellated around them as they slept. It was difficult to tell how they managed to find their way inside, except for indulging the possibility that somewhere in the walls was a small rupture where the exterior boundaries fell away, little slits towards the soft interior glow of the house. Eileen liked to think the slugs came because the house was like a sleeping beast; the slugs were living with them all together in something’s stomach. These things that slipped in the night towards something that was alive. They were all enveloped in living tissue and leaving trails.


This kind of interior folds into the body, flesh-like. The walls breathed shallow and stretched, solidified to make a ceiling, from which hung a single light bulb, casting shadows across the walls and floor. Eileen slept on a small mattress on the floor, so felt well acquainted with the ground, was the first thing she saw when she opened her eyes each morning.


At night she’d lie on her back though, and gaze upwards and the aglow of the light bulb just before she’d turn it out. Just as the house was beginning to slow down and dim, this was when she liked it best. The slugs cast shadows against this light, flickered on the walls, dancing like oil slicks.


The slicks hum in the air, the hole in the wall that is a wound, an interior, the slugs weep and sigh through slits in brickwork structures, their shiny slicks glint off the dust and moisture in the air, and sits. Eileen lay with the slugs, like them wet and slow and seeping, beyond the brickwork slit and exterior, beyond slimebody and stomach acid, dissolving matter. They met there at night where they sigh and sleep slippery sweet, just in the centimetres distance between warm cotton skin and squishy black pebble surface in an ever-repeating unaware glaze. Eileen slept and the slugs slicked, in the breathing and contracting room, like a bowl full of their silvery translucent liquid.


Eileen began to think of the slugs as part of the body of the house, their breath and slimes intermingling in the spaces between their bodies. Her droplet-breath was warm and smothering, gathers small worms like glowing ashes around each small opening in the living walls. Breath seeps into porous skin – crushed velvet sandpaper, sponge nightmare. Their damp trails spread, sit in little pockets, flowering and dense little clusters of silvery and filthy buds. Through the wallpaper it bubbles, bursts, and curls, blossoming new surfaces.

End