Once there was a hermit who lived in a giant shell on a tiny island. And each room in her shell was connected by a central spiral staircase. As she got older, her shell grew taller with more rooms being added. And she always stayed in the newest room at the very top where she made herself a new bed out of kelp and a table and chair made from pebbles. Whenever there was a storm and the sea covered the island, her shell stayed put because it was so heavy after all those years of rooms being built. And when she got older than anyone else alive, her newest room in the shell overlooked the clouds that drifted over the sea. And if she wasn’t in her new room, she was visiting the other rooms where she felt as old or as young as when the room was built. On her last day, she spiraled out of her shell for the first time since she began building it and sat on the beach to feel the water on her toes and looked at the sunlight bouncing off the water until her last nightfall. And she laid back in the sand and saw millions of shells twinkling in the night sky before she went to sleep beside her own sparkling shell with the final thought of the greater part she had played by doing what had come so naturally.
"allow me, to show you the interior," hisses the hungry maw on a muscular rope but the cricket leaps into a garage and probes boxes of forgotten shoes and obsolete gadgets a choir sweeps the cricket to others nestled in the folds of an old favorite shirt crumpled behind paint cans lulling each other with songs of refuge, they dream of ropes without orifices and cricket houses, Mid-century modern while parasitoids possessed by choral arrangements nest into cricket bodies and dream of flight paths and aerial maneuvers
Once there was an old man who wanted to return to the village where he was born one last time before his passing. He had left his home long ago by following one type of work after another and in so doing lost track of how far he had traveled away from the home of his childhood.
His life appeared to him as the strangest dream from which he had awoken. He was so far away that he was unsure of how to find his way back home. So he retraced his steps and went form place to place where he had worked. But after a few places he got lost. Because he was so old, some of the places where he had worked were abandoned or destroyed.
He asked anyone he could if they had heard of his village and people told him that nobody called it that anymore, not in many years, but they told him the new name. And when he came to the village by a different name, he was sure that it wasn’t his old home at all. There were no familiar or friendly faces and the village didn’t even look the same. So he moved on.
He did indeed come upon the village of his youth eventually. And he spoke with his folk and they smiled and smirked at each other as they heard his stories. He swore that they hadn’t aged a bit. All the sweet faces he had longed for were before him now. They thought him a peculiar old man who told them he came from there, when they knew he never did. They took him in anyways and cared for him. His last days were spent in bliss.