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2:37 PM PDT on April 4, 2008


"Lickable Wallpaper" is James Gabriel' second self-published work and his 4th novel. Here's an intriguing excerpt from this California Native. For more info on James Gabriel, go to

"The foot.

The biggest I have ever seen or imagined was held by a few famous basketball players’ whose shoe sizes are on display in a many native sports shrines which I have had the misfortune of wasting hours of my time in. This one dwarfed all of them. It was wrapped in a large black sandal, but the appendage was so wide it spilled around the edges and the base had been squeezed into a puffy cushion of skin framing it with stretch marks as if it were threatening to burst. The owner of that must be extremely heavy I surmised and if this had been the only curiosity I would have returned to my business without a thought, but the toes of this hoof were the most interesting of all.

The big toe of the mammoth pad was like a sausage. It started early and reached out beyond the others and past the tip of the sandal to curl beneath the next toe and a portion of the other. By my word if that failed to strike me on some way, the other toes did it. Each was quite long and knurled with thick nails that came out and curled down, almost as one would imagine a claw. Ideally it had no business displaying itself in a sandal of any type, but it thoroughly escaped me as to what shoe would enclose such a foot. I was suddenly struck by the image that it did not belong to a man, but some sort of troglodytian creature like the Moorlocks from Wells’ Time Machine and it was then that I decided I needed to see what this person looked like, if not learn who he was altogether.

As a result I doubled my efforts to finish my business which was no small task and my straining had me afraid of causing an aneurysm. The foot stepped out of the stall and I heard the sink turn on for a short moment, then off. I quickly wiped and buckled my pants, with a sudden air of thanks when I heard the drone of the hand dryer.

I stepped out."


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