• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 01
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The name was quite funny, if you were in on the joke ‘Elculodelmundo’. How I ended up there is still the subject of much speculation among the fish box community and, some say, wider. I know how I got there but I have sworn (to myself) that I will never share it with a living soul. Last night, after a couple of inches of patxaran, I told the old woman that lives in my couch. She didn’t really believe me, so I retook my vow of silence on the matter. The town had its own language, lots of Ks and Zs and plurals all sounded like a jackdaw had made them up. The people from Elculo met every Friday beside the sea wall and sang songs they all knew about their souls and mornings and the visitors from the hills who had sweet breath and came down at the new moon to throw fine coal dust into the faces of children. I watched from the lighthouse, the houses scattered randomly below me like a collage – rich house, poor house, cardboard box. No planning, no thought given to a plan. Some of the houses were tiny and made entirely from domino boxes. There was a girl there, her name was unpronounceable but it meant ‘seashell’. She was dark and we would walk in the Lord’s grounds. She would talk without drawing breath and I would try and make the right expression. To this day I have never understood a word she has said. There was a bridge that joined the two halves of the town. The old man who showed me how to make red eggs said it was built by the great Eiffel, before he started on his tower. I only crossed it once, I was sobering up at the same rate as the sun was rising and I chanced upon a little cafe, nothing much to look at from the outside but it was open and the coffee I had made me cry. I remember it to this day.

Elculo wasn’t built to last, from the hill it looked like it had been made out of scraps of paper and as I had expected I woke up one morning and it was gone. Not a trace. My lighthouse stood out like a sore thumb. The sea wall was there and of course, Mr Eiffel’s bridge which now joined two ends of nothing much at all.