Archives for posts with tag: short fiction

We were all moving on this day. Although, I forgot my wheeled cart. An elderly woman offered up hers only it was nowhere to be found and moving hour was fast approaching. The others joined in on this search. Somehow every shopping cart we tested was not quite right. Our exhaustion set in and our troubles were met with short breaks of licking bee brood – a brilliant purple and orange paste that rippled in texture and tasted of golden comb. A young fellow sat on his bed, savoring his portion, while removing his shirt. He held out his clothing and insisted I take it as a souvenir (so that I may remember him). Of course, I didn’t even know who he was, so I refused.

I was dancing in my kitchen. No one was watching except the shadow of my younger self. She looks at me and I stop mid-twirl. I don’t know how I got here. But the light filters in and touches my face just right. I don’t care if anyone discovers me. They would be surprised to find me here. Alone in my kitchen.

The room was bare. Only the window left open. I thought about my security and for a moment reached out to shut the window pane.

But stopped.

I decided to leave the window open because it was old and chipped and likely to be stuck in its frame.

We were given the largest schooner. The one with billowing sails, laced and layered upon each other. Carrying us forward in the gentle wind. Gliding through the warm waters. Spraying us with salty sea.

We slowed once to greet a friendly walrus poking its silky wet nose above the water’s cusp. It was then a gust of angry winds swooped in and lifted the bow high into the air. We heard the crack of walnut wood, our boat splitting in two, casting us into the sea.

I watched my father fall. Disappear into the dark waters. Our dismembered ship lay floating, scattered, and moving with the current. A tangled mass of splintered wood.

The Islanders learned of the accident almost immediately. They arrived in masses. Diligent arm ants on the call of duty. This was their beloved ship. We had sunk their best boat.

I was rescued by the graces of an Indian fisherman. Only he helped me into a water taxi because he believed I wouldn’t like the smell of dead cod fish sloshing around in his steel dory.

Tall and lanky, he released an exaggerated stretch as he climbed into the taxi that brought me safely into town, where everyone was talking about the Americans who sunk their best boat.

Their beloved schooner.

I am dropping this stone in the lake for you.
The stone I carried back from the other side of the world.
The stone you had no use for.
So I am giving it back to the lake.
Letting it sink to the bottom, so that no other girl can pick it up and carry it back to a man on the other side of the world.
This rock (which I plucked from a glacier in New Zealand) holds layers of dreams that never were.
This dark-charcoal square-like rock, curved like a staircase to the stars
Maps our family.
Our son.
Our stone-home.
Curved like a staircase going nowhere, but to the bottom of this lake, where it will rest easy.
No longer in a holding pattern.
But nestled under soft waves, caressing its very existence.
Happy and calling to be let in.
Sinking down into its cool, deep nest at the bottom of the lake.
Back to it’s home.

The land was covered in a thick blanket of snow. I am walking and can barely lift my feet. Fat snowflakes filter my vision, so I cannot see very far ahead. But I can hear the bus coming. Barreling around the bend. I’m talking on the phone and trying to get out of the road, but I keep sinking in deeper. Until I reach a snow bank. The bus driver sees me and she lets me on. The bus is packed with people. As she rounds a sharp curve the tail-end of the bus swings up into the air, then lands back down, hard.

The bus driver confidently announces,
I’ve been doing this for years.

I feel I have to believe her.

They tried three times to stick the needle in her arm. On the fourth try, an inflatable bag filled with blood. She carried this bag around like it was a part of her. A brilliant comet of red trailed her side. Although, she walked too far and the needle slipped out of her arm, which caused her to look down at the crease in her forearm. Three bruised puncture wounds painted her skin like bullet holes left behind. She didn’t think she had been cared for properly. Situations like this didn’t normally happen to her. She had been cared for all her life.

I was late for my bicycle ride, but happy to discover a new path leading out my backdoor. It led though a trimmed lawn and into an English garden, curved around a bed of tightly-wound roses, past another home that I had not noticed before.

It was a glass house. When you looked inside an ocean reflected off the windows.

I liked this house.

Still, I was late for my bike ride.

We were stuck in an elevator. It was someone’s fault. No one came to get us out. In the car I have an over-sized map. We are discussing the route. The fastest way to get from point A to point B. We are not lost, but we do not know the way, either.

I asked the waiter what was better, Swordfish or the steak? I settled on the Sunfish. While waiting for the food, the cook called me on his cell phone. I’m not sure what he wanted to ask me, but the waiter was furious that he made that call. When the food came, a ruffled fish, eyeballs and all, was placed on a large platter before me. My mother had the same dish.

And, then, the parade started. Or, the practice for the parade, rather. I stood on the sidewalk and watched the band members twist and lift their knees in preparation for their march.

His shell was purple with streaks of pink. His soft body was a translucent blue. He scurried around to find a place of solace, so he could come out of his shell. I noticed him trying to come out. I tried to encourage him to emerge. With no luck.

We traveled by train. The destination was desolate. Down on the dock only a couple people watched an orchestra play. There were so few people and it was hazy. All the while, I was searching for something.

I heard his kind voice. I found him in his muted-grey sweatshirt. He turned to me. Picked me up and spun me around. I tilted my head back and laughed in his arms.