The Story of Mr. Ah
Mr. Ah lived with his mouth opened wide; wide enough that anyone could stroll on in and out the back, whistling tuneless nothings or humming contentedly or talking aloud to themselves, all of it echoing back, all of it to drown out the ongoing noise in the tunnel, that pervasive little noise always on the edge of hearing.
The sound of Mr. Ah trying to be heard.
If someone would stop and listen, if the cars would stop driving across his head and his jaw wasn’t buried in river and dirt, Mr. Ah might tell you his story.
He might tell you how his brothers, all big stone brutes like himself, buried him in a hole for a laugh and filled his mouth with soil to keep him from calling for help.
He might tell you about the taste of silt on his tongue and the little fish swimming in his throat and the birds nesting in his eyes.
He might tell you about the men who came and paved a road on his head, and the constant migraine of unceasing traffic.
Mr. Ah might tell you about the playground across the field where he watches the children play, or the dirty-clothed people who sometimes sleep in his mouth on cold evenings.
Mr. Ah might even tell you about the way the ground once shook with every step, and the people he stamped beneath his feet. He might tell you about the feel of pulped meat on his stony skin as he popped people between his fingers, and the way they screamed and struggled and cried as he closed his mouth.
Mr. Ah has a lot he would like to say. If only you would stop and listen.