Western Exposure

She'd come from Houston to pack the house, to send her mother's things away in a truck to where they needn't be looked at or thought of. She'd come to wipe the dust and grime and hair and rat shit from the cold hardwood floors. She'd come to switch off the lights and unscrew the bulbs and throw the breakers. She'd come to lock the front door behind her and walk away once and for all.

Now, standing at the window, she felt like she was still twelve, and wondered if she'd dreamed all the growing up and moving out.

Georgia In The Afternoon

Steal away unnoticed from familiar company. Toe off your house slippers and sneak up the back stairs to the attic. Frustrate the ambitions of floorboards made creaky by age and recalcitrant damp. Turn the latch and push the skylight open and watch oak leaves and fir needles and dust fall past you like the ghost of autumn rushing to escape the harsh glare of day.

Lay across the dry patch of floor, with the light spilling across your skin, as if waiting for death or a lover. Close your eyes and feel only.

Reach out and grab the clouds for your pillow. Reach up and take the sun and put it in your mouth and chew and swallow, stoking flames already beginning their burn inside you. Wait to be freed from all restraint by time and custom.

Do not come when called for supper; go only when the light dies.

SF Drabble #455 "In Darkness Let Me Dwell"

"Maitland. Maitland, do you read? Maitland!"

"Jesus. What, Ross? I'm trying to take a—"

"The 'O' tanks at Marker 3 are empty."

"Shouldn't be. I topped them off yesterday. Are you—"

"I'm sure. I'm almost at Marker 2 now. I've got maybe three minutes left in my tanks."

"Who do you suppose drained the tanks at Marker 3?"

"Does it matter?"

"I mean, it's either the Euros or the Chinese, they're the only ones in range. When you reach 2 you should look—"

"I'm there. Stand by…"


"2 is dry also."

"Fuck. Ross—"

"Find out who killed me, Maitland."

Action Figures

She squinted at the painting. "What the hell is that she's holding?"

"It's an old vacuum cleaner. My grandmother had one of those, an Electrolux."

"So she's vacuuming, naked, and her kids are flying around with action figures and torches. Also naked."


"…and the cat's watching."


She stared for a long, uncomfortable time. "I don't get it."

"Well, you know, it's symbolic."

"Of what?"

"If I had to guess, I'd say it's about the heroic nature of motherhood," he said with a shrug. "But I'm probably wrong. You'd have to ask the painter."

"I just don't understand art."