Front of the House

Look at him working. The way he smiles at every customer. He’s impeccable. But when he goes to his room at the back, at the side of the kitchen, the smile is gone. He sips clear liquor from a teacup, mutters under his breath, and watches everything through the round glass in the top of the door. When he sees a new customer, he’s out to greet them, bounding over, showing them to a table. Then, as he bows slightly, backing away, he gestures to a waiter to bring menus, water. He returns to his room, sits down, stares through … Continue reading Front of the House

Thread

She carries with her, everywhere she goes, a long silvery thread, and at the end of each day she sits, and upon her leg, upon her knee to be exact, she places the thread, coiled, carefully, and watches it to make sure it doesn’t fall or blow away in the breezes that move through her room. And of course she falls asleep like this; and when she wakes each morning, at first she jolts a little at the thought, cold and sharp, that the thread might be gone, might no longer be on the knee, on the leg where she … Continue reading Thread

Just Martin

They’d been playing for most of the afternoon, despite the cold, but as soon as the light began to fade, their mothers began summoning them inside. Time for dinner. See you tomorrows were called with cheer as one by one they left the square, until eventually it was just Martin remaining. He watched the sky swell grand and purple, felt the cold turn piercing, and then made his way out of the square, back to the street, urban branches closing and tugging at his coat on the way. He emerged on the wrong side. The layout was strange and entrancing at this hour, and all roads lead home eventually, he’d been told, by someone at some time. And so he walked, passing long terraces of quiet houses, then he turned right because that felt right, then left because that felt right too.

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THE FINDING

… closed his eyes, slipped into a place. Into an easy unfettered place where a meadow slopes gradually down to a river. A narrow stretch of river through a town, old town, a university town. It’s summer, it’s evening. The air pale and yellow, viscous, an end of day light, settling. Trees, old buildings around. Medieval? He’s no expert. There’s a chapel. Means nothing, beyond its architectural beauty, compelling lines against the sky. The whole is more a sensation, a relief, but sometimes these call to be described and this is how it could be described. There’s not much more … Continue reading THE FINDING