All in Fiction

Racing Stripes

The rookie dragged the heavy hose into the choir loft, remembering an instructor’s analogy of wrestling an alligator. Behind him he could hear Carl humping the hose up the stairs, allowing him to advance the nozzle onward.

The Memory Quilt

Young women sat cross-legged on an enormous rug in the centre, older women encircled them on folding chairs, and in the laps of each were their vibrant patchwork creations. At the snack table, mothers sipped steaming mugs of gluhwein while their daughters crowded the platter of pancakes, syrup dripping in long sticky trails down their chins.

Loose Change

There was a poster of the silver Canadian cutting through the Rockies. The mountains had been spectacular, but when Carol thinks back on their trip, what she remembers most is the contrast between the open, clear sky of the prairies and those fields after fields of yellow canola.

Dantor's Tongue

Clustered amongst the crowd I could feel the heat of anticipation rise out the holes in our clothes. The rags we wore were shades of dirt smeared in judgement, shredded, and left unmended. Huddled together, our haze of heated frustration held back the cold hand of hopelessness.

A Love We Couldn't Give

I watched the lake turn from pink to purple, white powder seep into rainbow rum puddles, and you turn to dust.  I put a hand to my belly, one to my heart, closed my eyes, and waited until I felt you next to me.  I was too tired to claw, not tired enough to smile heavy. 

Blessed Are The Meek

I want the injustice of their sorry lives etched into my soul. I need to picture their pain as a fetid, pus-filled boil just begging to be lanced, so that when the moment comes to choose, and life seems to offer so much, I’ll remember that I already chose to side with those who never had, and never will have, choices.

Aristaeus Sleeps

When you can bear to think of anything, you think about Them. You think about how they must have looked on their last days. All haggard and drawn and always tired. Sort of how you imagine you look now. You wish someone could see you. 

Certainly Sir

I like those catastrophe things, and I realised that seeing rocks falling and rolling on the ground is how man came to invent the wheel. Then it occurred to me that if birds didn’t fly we’d never have invented planes. And so on.

Things Lost

The leather was worn and cracked down to the webbing underneath around his wrists and at the hem. He had purchased it at some specialty store when he was drunk soon after the miscarriage.

The New York Loft

The way he made coffee was methodical and robotic. He boiled water on the stove in a kettle, ground the coffee in a hand-held coffee grinder, then poured it into the french press and sat on the stool across from the counter and watched it steep for four minutes.

Water Maiden

Sometimes it’s a punch. Sometimes a kick. On the good days they just breathe nasty words next to my ear. It depends on their mood really. On the very good days, there is nothing at all and I can stay in bed for a bit longer. But those days don’t really happen that much anymore.

Despite the Dark

As soon as the first flicker of red and blue bounced off the alley brick walls I turned and raced for the fence. Feet shuffled and scattered behind me like birds, breaking loose in forty-five directions, jumping over bricks and barbed wire onto the wet pavement.

Hallways

He stuttered for a moment, and decided to jump right back into it. “Right. Well we talk about that depression, and we talk about that anxiety, but what we don’t talk about, what I feel like we can’t talk about is your rage. You have an insane,” the word perked her ears up.

131 Hours of Silence

I look at the circles under my eyes, they have been growing darker every night this week. It has been exactly 131 hours since she took her things out of her two drawers in our shared dresser. They’re still empty.

Late Night

After another few minutes they stopped, picked up the dead weight, dropped it inside the grave and began filling it back up.  It wasn’t long before they had finished packing snow on top of the freshly dug dirt.