Digital Ischemia


The Twelve Days of Twistmas part 2/12

The Christmas song twisted into a series of linked short tales, fabricated around tortuous puns. Begins at part 1.

Before tea, let alone breakfast, I was at the pantry bolt to check on Santa Partridge. I’d left her stocked up with seeds and water, and some handy shredded brown paper packing. I’d also left the window open enough for her to depart if she wanted. In a pantry this chill breeze could only aid food preservation; not like the glass was double-glazed or anything fancy.

Yesterday she had not been for leaving, nor for being lifted, and I was not in the mood for being dictatorial. No idea where partridges spend winter. She didn’t seem frightened as she was behaving nicely. I double-checked all my provisions anyway.

There she was, nestled in paper, blinking warily at me. Most of the seed gone. Most of the water over the floor. Still no shit. Very well behaved bird. Window as it was, seemingly. I hadn’t thought to booby trap it with thread or whatever. Wouldn’t want to garrotte a partridge.

I wittered away to the bird, rinsing and refilling her saucer, placing another pile of seed. As I bent to check her papery nest was sufficient, I caught sight of something vivid green under her ample chest. Not paper, not plumage, not shit. I cautiously reached in and tugged. She lurched sideways, still blinking, as it came out from under her.

A bright green woollen coaster. No, a hand-knitted mitten. It was half-way evolved to a fingered glove, but the budding phalanges were evenly spaced around the edge rather than at the finger end. The tapered thumb tip was adorned with two dark beads. Not very practical. I left the other one keeping Partridge’s belly warm and took this through to ponder with my tea.

The glove had hexagonal ridges skilfully worked into the knitting over the back. I tried it as a mitt for holding a too hot cup of tea, but it was too slippery. Very sweet effort, though, by somebody. Eventually I got bored with it and left it skulking by the fruit bowl while I went to research partridge natural habitat with a vague notion of repatriating her.

Entirely forgotten, I wandered by later in the day and glimpsed the green creature paddling around Fruit Island.

Two turtle gloves.

The Twelve Days of Twistmas continues at part 3


The Twelve Days of Twistmas part 1/12

The Christmas song twisted into a series of linked short tales, fabricated around tortuous puns.


Before taking my first mouthful of breakfast, I was distracted by a muffled shuffling. I’d just lifted oats from the pantry shelf, so I figured probably I’d knocked something that was now sliding and settling into a mess for me to clean up. I swithered; the spoon swayed above the bowl. The risk of leaving whatever spillage to get worse weighed against the chance of riling myself with extra chores created. Before I’d even had breakfast. Anxiety won.

The pantry’s interior looked reassuringly sound. No flour storms, no grain trails, no seed— Actually, a small smear of seeds on the floor. Not a big problem.

A cool breeze drew my attention to the window – slightly open. Not how I left it. Looking closer, the frame showed indentations and a displaced chunk of mouldy wood preventing it closing fully. Having been prised? Now I was alert.

Someone had forced their way in. I felt horrified, violated, astonished. This was a dilapidated fishing hut at nowhere; far, far from selfishness and malevolence and festive tomfoolery. Yet, other than the window frame there was no damage, nothing missing. I checked again and again, my anxiety fogging proper observation. The pantry door had been bolted when I’d come in earlier, hadn’t it? Definitely. I’d nearly poured my tea into my baffies trying to open it one-handed.

Why would someone break into this pantry to not steal any food, to not do any damage, to not break into the rest of the ramshackle shelter, for nothing of value anyway, to leave a small heap of seeds? A flicker of movement across the seeds further jacked up my bewildered tension. Was I believing in magic creatures now? Blasted indoctrination with blasted festive pish.

This was ridiculous: under that bottom shelf was less than twenty centimetres. Barely room for a wee bird or rodent … who could prise open a window. I breathed in and bent down. I nearly said ‘ducked’ but I don’t want to confuse you.

A pair of seasonal red legs quivered beneath the feathered belly of a large, very smart-looking, pigeony bird. She had fabulous red and black eye-liner and chevroned wings. I said hello. She gulped and showed off her bird-gyroscope – you know, how they can move any part of their body while keeping their head and eye utterly still. I brought her a small saucer of water and returned to my breakfast, mulling the peculiar custom of visitations.

Half-way through my stodge, as the oats fired up my metabolism, the word ‘porridge’ spontaneously morphed in my head. I laughed and gulped and nearly choked.

A partridge in a pantry.

The Twelve Days of Twistmas continues at part 2

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