‘Ursula, Chapter Nine: Touch’, A Serial Comic by Michael Hawkins

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This is the ninth instalment of ‘Ursula’, a comic by Michael Hawkins we’re currently serialising. Catch up on chapters one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

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So a loose, reckless week goes by, dark and scary in places but not really interesting enough to recap.

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At the end of it I have a dream that I’m living in the cottage by the station. There is nothing outside.

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I keep growing these extra spindly arms from one of my normal arms. I hate them so I pull them off and throw them into a cold fire that’s inside a big clam shell. As I stare into the blue flames I can sense a warm body next to me.

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It’s an incarnation of the feathered cat-mask. They’re kind of a babe.

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They gently guide me to a place in the house where two corridors diverge. I guess I’m meant to choose one but there is nothing really stopping me from looking down both.

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The first leads to a room filled with squirmy flesh and familiar grasping hands. The other just gets smaller and smaller til it’s the size of my hand, like Alice in Wonderland or that one episode of the Simpsons or something.

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When I wake up Ishka is sitting on the bed watching over me, which I guess is kinda creepy but I love it. I tell her about the dream and all the weird stuff in my head and … ugh … I don’t want to, it just comes out.

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Then shit gets really real. She looks at me and tells me that I don’t have to hide…she knows it’s all getting too much for me and I’m isolating my head because that’s what I do but I don’t have to. “You’re not alone,” she actually says.

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There are tears in my eyes as we hold each other … still there is this small fucked part of me that’s like “yeah, you would say that.”

Michael Hawkins is a Melbourne-dwelling comic book and visual artist of Tasmanian and U.S. derivation. He believes in mystery.