Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Certain Shade of Blue

The center of a sapphire opens and spreads like a peacock’s tail; we fall into it and it embraces us like a fairy’s cloak that makes the rest of the world invisible.

This is my entry this weekend for Trifextra. The challenge is to write about a color in 33 words or fewer.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cracks at the Heart of the World


The fears and loves of my life are defined by cracks: the ones my father has always made in the air around him, the ones in my own mind. 

When I was fifteen and he was in one of his tirades, I ran to my room, broke a bottle of cologne, and cut myself twice on the arm with one of the shattered pieces. I remember feeling happy at the sight of the blood and the terror in my parents’ faces.

My loves: the museum where I work, its broken pieces of ancient and medieval art. Paul, whose marriage shattered a long time ago but can’t be discarded, whose daughter is broken and needs the glue only both her parents can provide.

When Paul told me he was married, I went home and broke a set of wine glasses. But I stayed with him because he was my best hope for mending myself.

My father is dying, and I don’t know how I feel about it.

I sit by his bed in the hospital with my mother, holding her hand, marveling at how her love for him has never wavered in spite of his difficult ways. I think about Paul’s love for his daughter. And I wonder whether I will ever be able to love that way.

I see the breath trickling from my father’s lips, and suddenly it is as if something is escaping from him and flowing into me. I remember his stories about Vietnam. I feel their underbelly: the horrors he experienced and could never forget. I remember how he hated his job but kept at it to support my mother and me. I feel strength, sacrifice, love. I feel that my father is showing me how to survive.

Will it be enough? Enough to help me survive, too? If this is his legacy to me, I must accept it. I must forgive him, Paul, myself—and learn to love unselfishly. To mend my own cracks.



This was written for the Trifecta Challenge. This week’s challenge was the following definition:



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Trifecta and Flash Fiction Challenges

Man of Wood, Man of Myth


 I feel the wind and the years fly over me, on this beach where eternity hangs so close. The sea seems still today, almost as thick as custard, as though from here I could walk with bouncy, sloppy steps across it to Europe. Where he is.

It’s my birthday, and I’m alone again. But not entirely, even though I’m without Michael. Part of him stands in front of me, in this once-living wood. No longer living, like the love he once claimed to have for me. At least the tree still has the life he gave it in this sculpture. He laughed when I called it the man of myth. But he never gave it another title. I told him what I saw in it—in the thick trunk, the abbreviated arms stretching out toward the sky—the image of Poseidon rising out of the ocean. The sea god, a man not tied by any cord to woman. Nor is the artist who created him.

It’s my birthday, and my gift is wisdom. The sea may alter the sand and the earth, weather and age may rot the wood, but only indifference can kill the heart. And if love lives on in one, it will not die.

I stand with feet spread apart in the sand and raise my arms in the air.

This piece was written for two challenges: Trifecta and the Flash Fiction Blog Hop.
Trifecta: write a piece of between 33 and 330 words using the following definition:
Flash Fiction Blog Hop:
Use the above photo and the words custard   cord   birthday   alter   myth


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Trifecta Challenge: Crude

This week's Trifecta Challenge

Write between 33 and 333 words on the following prompt, using the third definition:

1: existing in a natural state and unaltered by cooking or processing <crude oil>
2 archaic : unripe, immature
3: marked by the primitive, gross, or elemental or by uncultivated simplicity or vulgarity <a crude stereotype>



You pull me into your arms and days begin and end with bared teeth and resistance and tongues of fire and my father’s words you’ll regret it spooling out in winds over plains, flowing down the sweet river of all there is. I choose your crude love.