Posts Tagged flash fiction

heartshaped

IMG_3693

(short fiction)

Heartshaped

Vaguely heartshaped, that’s how you described her face, and I always imagined her—with my child’s-eye, literal imagining—as having a face the color of a pink valentine’s candy heart, a face with a pointy chin and also big eyes made of chocolate, because you said hers were brown and melty.

That’s how I saw her, my grandmother I never knew.

The photos were all lost in the legendary house fire, so I never got to see her, how she really looked. I used to long to be able to visit her, like my friend Annie did her Nana. I thought that the first thing I’d do was crawl in her lap and tell her how much you missed her and how much you talked about her. It seemed that would please her, and the way your face looked when your talked about how her singing made the moon rise, how she played a mean game of cribbage and could bait a hook with one hand  made me want to know her, and please her.

Later, when I was near-grown, everyone began to remark how like her I was. I used to pull my dark curls away from my face and look for signs of the tell-tale sweetness emerging, but to me, the eyes reflecting back in the mirror were cold as the glass itself, cold as any Canadian January. My face itself was more of a pillow shape. I began to wonder what sort of sieve memories run through, to sugar them so.

Much later still, describing you to my own children, I honeyed your brown hair, I made your eyes the color of the ice on a bright day in March, that fresh slate color, and I made your hugs as warm as raisin-oatmeal cookies fresh from the oven. I waited for them to pepper me with the questions I once would have asked.

My children were raised on your photographs, though. Raised, too, on reality TV and iPods and textbooks, not fed random poetry and left to wander woods and libraries alone, the way I was.

I thought I was doing the right thing, educating them, drilling them with the math facts that I myself could never pin down, the after-school tutoring, summer enrichment programs, sending them to the Catholic school for good discipline and rigor.

But I think I made them blind.

 

 


This short piece was written from a prompt in workshop, using the Amherst Writer’s and Artists method.

 

 

 

 

, , , , ,

4 Comments

2017, a mini-novel

(I’m writing a mini-novel with flash-length chapters over on Medium.com. Following is the first chapter of my tale of a dystopian future. Check out the rest if you like—it’s a work-in-progress, which I’m hoping to finish before year end. It is a work of fiction. I hope. Access the chapters by clicking here.)

View story at Medium.com

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-2-41-09-pm

2017: Chapter One

The sirens blared. The President’s voice boomed, an audio clip in an endless loop. “…then I grab em by the pussy,” he crowed, again and again and again, the way he did every morning at wake-up. “She’s a pig, I mean, look at her! Miss Piggy. Call her Miss Housekeeping, why don’t you?” A laugh track — or possibly a recording of hyenas howling, it was hard to tell — ran between bursts of his “boy talk.”

She’d heard it so many times now. It was designed to make her go numb.
She let the guards believe it was working.

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

The Jester

A new sci-fi story of mine is now up at Story Shack. Written last spring, it sprang from the same swirling well of techno-hope and techno-fear that the recent movie “her” bubbled up in. Not that this little bit of a story is in that class, at all, but I always think it’s interesting to see the themes that emerge in fiction and film, and how they tend to come in waves. I had fun writing it–one of those that almost wrote itself.

,

Leave a comment