Register Thursday | April 2 | 2020
Pierre's Refuse

Pierre's Refuse

Writing from Quebec. Translated by Melissa Bull.

It was the summer of 2018 when Pierre understood that he would die. The summer had been hotter than any other; the next ones would be worse. Pierre had spent the month of August sprawled across his sofa like a beached whale, viscid from the oily ocean that had spewed it out. Before, the elderly used to ask themselves if they’d make it through another winter. For Pierre, the summers were going to be the challenge.

Fruit spoiled on the counter of the overheated house. The smell of chocolate and rooibos, foul and fetid, emanated from the cupboards. He had to take out the compost daily or else traces of rot would seep through the entire house. 

One day he’d delayed, and Pierre saw, amid his table scraps, wriggling colonies of white worms, which, at first, he’d refused to read as a sign. Then he let himself ...

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