Johnny Appleseed was drained from her uneventful journey and from hearing her name used over and over in books, which were mostly about her father anyway. Charles Potashner let her crash on his gargantuan greyish sofa for a few days free of charge. He had bought the sofa several years before from either Argos or Ikea; he couldn’t remember which now and of course it doesn’t matter at all. When it first arrived, disassembled and in many boxes with only cartoons for construction instructions, he had thought to himself, ¨ohhhh fuck, what have I gotten myself into.¨ But now he had come to peace with his purchase and was glad to have a place to offer for people to stay for the night. He didn´t even need to move the sofa to Simone. The sofa moved on its own accord.

Speaking of stridulation…oh were we not speaking of stridulation? Well, now we are. Once Johnny had made herself comfortable, Charles settled down into a back float in the pond and listened to the male crickets rub their tiny legs together for a while. Water supported his body, and only a few parts of him sank under the surface. When he began to sink uncomfortably low, and the water covered the hairy little nipples on his chest, he merely wished to be more buoyant, and it was so. Charles rubbled his long legs together and expected to be able to join in with the insects, but that wish wasn´t granted. Wishing is like having a having a habitable planet: you should never take it for granted.

Though Simone was a kind and relatively uneventful place, Charles was frequently transported to a land of torture in his dreams. While the crickets fiddled a rendition of San Antonio Rose using no more than their spindly legs for instrumentation, Charles drifted dreamward, watching helplessly and in terror as Saturn devoured his own son, spewing more blood than Goya could have imagined. Charles then transformed into a twin Saturn in a parallel universe and was overtaken with an uncontrollable urge to devour the sun itself. As the centre of the solar system slid over the back of his sizzling tongue and down his throat, everything went pitch black. Planets slipped wildly out of their stable orbits, and Charles´ stomach burned and his intestinal fluids boiled with the very energy on which all known life had previously depended. Knowing something was wrong from his panicked breathing, the ducks surrounded him and woke him from his nightmare with loud quacks. He was speechless but infinitely grateful.