Knead… the earth with rain, and let it fain the glaring lips of the sun. Knead the earth. Pour your mortar among molded bricks and molten sand. Knead the earth, and erect your dwellings high. For like the shrub pierces the womb and sprouts from the face of Mother, you, too, shall wreak ruin. Reign
Would you like a sample? asked a woman in a uniform just past the store’s threshold, gesturing out a sample in a small white cup, similarly to how pills were handed out in prisons on TV shows. The rows of food reached nearly to the ceiling of the store, so high they required a forklift to be lowered down to the patrons. A child begged her mother for a sample of an unfrozen fried Wonton appetizer, which her mother steadfastly denied. Sure, Stacey said, accepting the small cup, finding it pleasantly crunchy with afternotes of carrot.
We were born in darkness and hunger, and that was all we ever knew. My brother said we were like axes lodged in stone, impotent objects frozen in unknown space. Silence overwhelms us. Wind is a silent phantom, ice a silent beast. Sometimes it crackles with anxiety, sometimes it groans with hunger. Sometimes it terrifies me.
She believed in Sundays. Neither God nor churches nor frozen family dinners, watching a rerun of America’s Funniest Home Videos circled around the television like seagulls to a piece of bread. No, she savored Sundays like a talisman that protected her from the unknowns of the upcoming week.
Again, the phonograph replays the record. The very first motion of the driver’s ferrite, pointy reader-head clicked heavily on the periphery of the disk causing the first friction on the shellac surface and sounding like a glitchy fuzz, whose prosaic particles started moving, vibrating randomly in the space generating broken waves without any predictable order.
This story is part of our Summer Fiction Month 2020. Click here to view the stories featured this Fiction Month, as well as past fiction pieces. One morning in late spring, when only the earliest risers of the orchard were awake, a car was found crashed into the milky river that surrounded the town. The man
As the years came for me I learned to cope with problems in the most artistic forms I could. I would swim to liberate myself from any burden or remorse. It didn’t matter what time of the year it was. I would throw myself in and give my all to the ocean, my hands continuously trying to unbind from where they belong. Nothing was rigid; there was a constant movement, an unbreakable peace.
I know we were married, but that day itself has gone from me, recently. I had it until yesterday, or the day before. It was not a space I immediately noticed. I ran through my life, wondering what was missing, and noted at length that that day was gone. Sometimes it seems there is order to the washing away of my mind, but in truth it is sporadic. I hear a baby cry. I remember the birth of my daughter, all at once, her red face.