Short Story Highlight: “Logovore” by Joseph Nacino, at Fantasy Magazine

The latest story at Fantasy Magazine is Logovore, by Filipino writer Joseph F. Nacino:

He lives on words.

Literally, he eats them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes he has them for snacks too.

For example, the word “effervescent’” is a tasty morsel, a bit on the spicy side with a light tinge of sweetness. Or the words “cavalcade” and “arboretum” are good together, the former’s saltiness combining well with the basil after-taste of the latter. He loves the feel of words on his tongue before he swallows them.

Of course, he eats and drinks what other people do. No point in letting others see what you really are. Like now, sitting with his fellow college English teachers from Ateneo de Manila University at a bar along Katipunan Avenue—he is drinking San Mig Light beer and eating appetizers like sisig and tokwa’t baboy while exchanging gossip.

It’s fun, sometimes. Sometimes being the operative word, of course.

So Cherie goes and tells him to pass the varsity player even after he drops all his classes.

No shit! Well, what did he expect?

Yeah. It’s all about winning, I know. What I hate is if you get on Cherie’s bad side. She can be a real nasty bitch when she puts her mind to it.

He can’t resist now and then snatching words around him. For example, a couple is talking dirty to each other at a nearby table. Words like “torrid” and “climax” are aphrodisiac to him—until someone says “orgasmatory” and he loses all appetite.

New words always leave a bad taste in his mouth.

I still don’t get what the new program is all about.

Me, all I understand is that I’m overloaded with students clamoring for classes.

You’re overloaded? Almost all my subjects have been cancelled because there haven’t been enough students!

He wonders if there are others like him. Others who share his preference. Are there others who like the taste of Cyrillic? French? Or even a dialect like Bisaya with its hard words like “kadyot” or “pesteng yawa”?

That’s one way he eats. The other is a bit. . . noticeable.


What’s the problem?

I’m trying to remember this poem by Neruda. But there’s this word at the tip of my tongue that I can’t. . . Aggh!

He smiles at the taste blossoming on his tongue, like a claret of good wine, dry and sharp like blood: “melancholy”.

Hey Kathy! Over here!

It’s at that moment that Kathy walks into his life. – continue reading.


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