archivist wasp // the vegetarian

'Wasp came to, her knife-hand sticky with silver. She had been gripping the harvesting-knife in her sleep, her fingers on the blade. She sat up fast, not knowing where she was, and lightheadedness made her regret it instantly. She dropped back on her elbows until her vision cleared.
She was lying on a mossy slope tending down toward a black pit of a pond around which gory-looking lilies grew. A breeze blew up from the water, smelling of copper, limes, and carrion. A lonely pale willow overhung the pond, and the breeze set its fronds clicking together. Closer, Wasp would find that they weren't made of leaves at all, but whiplike plaits of tiny bones.'


Archivist Wasp
(Page 151-152)

Rating: 3/5

'When I turned to look over my shoulder, a male nurse and a middle-aged guard could be seen hurrying over, their faces grave. I looked at my wife's exhausted faec, her lips stained with blood like clumsily applied lipstick. Her eyes, which had been staring fixedly at the gathered audience, met mine. They glittered, as though filled with water.
I thought to myself: I do not know that woman. And it was true. It was not a lie. Nevertheless and compelled by responsibilities which refused to be shirked, my legs carried me towards her, a movement which I could not for the life of me control.
"Darling, what are you doing?" I murmured in a low voice, picking up the hospital gown and using it to cover her bare chest.
"It's hot, so . . . " She smiled faintly ‑ her familiar smile, a smile which could not have been more ordinary, and which I had believed I knew so well. "It's hot, so I just got undressed." She raised her left hand to shield her forehead from the streaming sunlight, revealing the cuts on her wrist.
"Have I done something wrong?"
I prised open her clenched right hand. A bird, which had been crushed in her grip, tumbled to the bench. It was a small white-eyed bird, with feathers missing here and there. Below tooth-marks which looked to have been caused by a predator's bite, vivid red bloodstains were spreading.'


The Vegetarian
(Page 52)

Rating: 3.5/5