Prologue

This was written as a prologue to my now defunct novel. 

 

I ran my fingers over the faces in the pictures lying on my kitchen table, printed copies of newspaper front pages from almost 30 years ago.  Emotions I had buried rose up within me – betrayal, loss, and an ever binding love.

“Thank you for helping with my journalism project, Aunt Anna.”  Monica’s voice brought me back to the present.  The oldest of my nieces and nephews, her’s was the only birth I had missed, and I had missed it in part because of the people in the picture.  For that reason, I knew I needed to answer her questions.

I smiled, not trying to keep the bit of sadness that had washed over me out of my face.   Honest reactions only with Miss Monica.  She would know if I were hiding something. “I’m happy to help, Mina.”

She frowned at my use of her childhood nickname.  At 22, in her last year of university, she was no longer a child but still young enough to bristle at any indication that she might be.

I could not repress my chuckle.  “Sit down.” I pulled out one of the blue draped chairs that surrounded my little white kitchen table.  “Would you like anything to drink.”

I watched her pretend to consider the question.  “Do you have any strawberry lemonade?”

I pulled out two tall glasses and the pitcher of lemonade that I’d made just that morning.  “So who are these guys, Aunt Anna?”

I set the glasses and pitchers down.  My eyes fell on the pictures again.  Their names – Toby, Jeremiah, Kevin, Carlos, and EGO – ran through my mind as I sank into a chair.  “They were the friends of my youth.  People I loved more than anything else in the world.” I looked at her, sitting across the small white table from me, so full of youth and innocence not yet ready to be lost.  I had protected her more than I should have, perhaps, when she had first come to University, and moved in with us after one miserably homesick semester in the dorms.  “At least until you came along.” Protected her against having friends like those in the pictures scattered in front of me.  “I would have died for them.”

I could see her struggling with the statement, trying to reconcile it with what she knew of the timeline of her birth and my marriage.  Her confusion filled the space between us.  “But none of them is Uncle Trevor…”

I reached out and took her hand across the table, needing her to understand the difference.  “No dear, for your Uncle, I choose to live.”


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Dream Weaver

This is something I wrote a few years ago that was meant to be part of a now defunct larger project. I still really like it as it’s own little piece of abstract fiction though.

 

I am sitting quietly, surrounded by deep blue sky and stars.  I reach out to the stars and pull their light to me, spinning it into thread.  I weave, using the loom that sits in front of me, turning the strands of starlight into a blanket.  The pattern in the cloth is more intricate than I can follow, but I don’t need to worry, for the thread patterns itself.

Something approaches, a shape darker than the surrounding night, blocking some of my stars.  It wants my blanket.  It wants my loom and the thread.  It wants to keep the stars from me.

We fight, though I sit still.  We do not touch, yet my soul grapples with the darkness.  Finally, it leaves.  I do not know who won, if either of us did.  I can still see the stars, but their light no longer reaches me.  I still have my loom.  The blanket is there, though the pattern is fading.  I blink and the pattern is gone.  Rain falls from my eyes.

I do not know what to do, so I go back to what I have always done.  I reach out to the stars.  I cannot see the strands, but I can feel them between my fingers.  I weave, knowing the blanket will never be complete.  I cannot see the pattern, but I feel it wrap around my heart.

Somewhere, someone is calling my name.


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I’ll Go First

Here is a piece of flash fiction I wrote a few years ago. It does not have an intended word count at the moment, so it can go longer or shorter.

It filled the air.  Even when no one was saying anything about it, it was all they were talking about.  The notices had been posted.  The auditions were to be held tomorrow at the Royal Theater.  The Director was going to put on “the Play.”

No one could remember the last time the play had been staged, but its words and music lived in the heart of everyone.  The whole town dreamed of being in the play, of performing some role, no matter how small.  No one could resist the urge to take part.

Once the day’s labors were done, everyone went home to practice.  The Director went out to walk the streets.

It started with the soft strains of the opening piece, coming from a cellist on her balcony.  Soon, a violin joined in, then a clarinet, and then a whole orchestra filled the air.

The director continued walking.  The boy lighting the street lamps gave the opening monologue.  A mother, cradling a babe in her arms, sang the heroine’s first song.

Through each neighborhood, down every street, the director walked.  Everywhere, different voices played the same familiar roles.  Musicians picked up their cues, children added their voices to the chorus.  From beginning to end, the play progressed through the town, with the director following it. 

 The next day, the sign at the Royal Theater read “Auditions Cancelled. Last night’s performance cannot be topped.”

 

Tell me what you think. What works? What doesn’t? What questions do you have?


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