BROADENS THE MIND • by Oonah V Joslin

Opposite Le Marche St Quentin three little girls rehearse womanhood, giggling, blushing at the centerfold of Boy-band Magazine’s half-stripped hunk. For now, Paris is but the dream of hot romance and there is the question of ice-cream.

“Strawberry’s fraise.”

“What’s raspberry then?”


“Frob… I can’t say that.”

“Well, have something else, then.”

You ask for it.”

“No, you.”

“I thought we were getting our own.”


The market smells of early morning bread, ripe blue cheese, peaches and cabbage.

“Une fraise glace, please monsieur.”

“And can I have the same? Une.”

The one finger held up to Monsieur, doesn’t go down well. “Sacre bleu!”

“Siobhan, that’s SO rude to do that!”

“Well, how was I to know?”

“Une glace à la pistache s’il vous plait, monsieur.”


“Merci. Aurevoir.”



“What have you got?”

“Don’t know. It’s green. I just fancied green ice-cream.”

“Give us a lick, then.”

“Only if I get a lick of yours.”


“Bit early for ice-cream is it not, girls?”


“Morning, Miss.”

“Bonjour, Mademoiselle Moss. What’s pistache, Miss, ‘cos that’s what I got.”

“You bought something and you don’t know what it is? It’s a nut — pistachio — I see you’ve never heard of it. Well, there’s a first time for everything. Do you like it?”


“Okay, you’ll have to eat these out here but then straight inside, you hear? You’re not supposed to go wandering round markets unsupervised.”

“Okay, Miss.”

“Sorry, Miss.”

“Alors, depechez-vous. On visite la Tour Eiffel ce matin.”

“What did she say?”

“Something about the Eiffel Tower.”



Le Type who was emerging from the market onto the street corner was no gentleman and the sight of three twelve-year-olds licking each other’s cones was incentive enough for him to reveal a lolly of a different flavour.

“God! Did you see what that man did?”

“Don’t look at him!”

“He’s doing it again.”

“It’s got bigger.”

What’s he doing?”

“Didn’t your Mammy tell you anything, Nualla?”

“My Mammy’s dead. I live with my Da.”

“C’mon. Let’s go in.”


Miss Moss was just enjoying a quiet coffee.

“Miss, there’s a man outside the market with a big… baguette, Miss.”

“Yes. The French buy their bread fresh every day.”

“No, but Miss, she doesn’t really mean a baguette — it was his… thingy, Miss.”


“Dick, Miss.”

Miss Moss stood up. “You’re telling me there’s a flasher outside the market?”

“Aye, Miss.”

“I’ll inform the manager at once, and girls — the term is ‘penis’.”


Imagine Miss using a word like that!”

“Is that the size they are?”



“I don’t know.”

“Is that what gives you babies?”

“I suppose so.”

“Well then, I’m not for getting any babies. I didn’t like the look of it.”

“Nor me.”

“My Mammy says you change your mind.”

“Well, I won’t.”

Oonah V Joslin lives in Northumberland, England. Winner of Micro Horror Prizes 2007 and 2008. Most read in EDF, Jan 2008. Guest judge in the Shine Journal 2008 Poetry Competition. Bewildering Stories Quarterly 4 2007 and 1 and 2 in 2008. She has had work published in Bewildering Stories, Twisted Tongue, Static Movement, 13 Human Souls, Back Hand Stories and The Pygmy Giant, Lit Bits, The Linnet’s Wings, The Ranfurly Review and Boston Literary Magazine. The list is growing every month which pleases her immensely!  Oonah is also Managing Editor of Every Day Poets.  You can link to work, follow up-dates and contact Oonah at or She thanks all of you who take the time to read and comment.

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