Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Drabble

There was a vale that long shied its dismal face from the world, until discovered by a band of dour pilgrims. In thanksgiving they slaughtered turkey upon turkey, until their gobbles became a dark wind that sighed up over gables, and hissed past the church steeple. Thenceforth, each year at the appointed hour the townspeople sealed themselves inside the church. ‘They draw nigh!’ shrieked a small boy, his tender countenance disfigured by a spasm of terror. ‘Speak not!’ shushed the mother, and pressed the trembling child to her bosom. Outside gathered a legion of little shadows, silent as death. Waiting.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Story fragment

In the deep predawn I wake to the groan of wind and the sound of Crepe Myrtle clawing at my window pane. I lie beneath a mound of cool linen and wait for my mind to piece itself together again, for memories to coalesce, but all I see is a whorl of capering silhouettes and so remain in a limbo of stupor. Rising, I grope for the light switch. In the bathroom I’m still half-asleep, and the white ceramic curve of the toilet is a giant deviled egg without the devil. Have some yoke, I offer in slurred dream speech and drizzle, yellow and frothy. From the other end of the house I hear my mother stirring, beginning her daily ministrations in the kitchen. Prepare coffee, feed the dog, feed the cats, open the blinds, take out the trash. Neither of us drinks coffee and the cats have all disappeared, but she clings to her routine, like a sprinkler system that keeps to its diurnal chug long after its owners have fled their home, long after the home has begun to crumble and blow away upon an ancient and dying planet, which in turn persists its weary revolution around a black and shrunken sun.

Back in my bed the ceiling fan is a pin-wheel and I blow and blow, but never send the blades spinning.