On Catching a Cold

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A spirit quest through the savages of suburbia.

Submitted: June 29, 2011

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Submitted: June 29, 2011

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On Catching a Cold

The reason he was always waking, he told her, was to taste the grass with his bare feet. Four in the morning: the dew had settled, untouched by daylight, known only to the deer who picked through it, the owls who whisked fine-boned mice away. He would slip out of bed and out of the patio door and out of the well-kept yard into the field beyond that was as savage as anything in suburbia.

It was absurd, she told him, to go out every night with no regard for the temperature or the neighbors. What would they think if they saw him slinking through the weeds in the dark? That he was a serial killer, disposing of the most recent body? That he was making drug exchanges? That he was mentally unbalanced?

She would not, she told him, be known as the woman married to the unstable drug-dealing murderer who had the sniffles.

He was only missing the farm, he told her, and the way it had teased his senses like a temptress. The weight of darkness, damp and clean in the back of his throat when he inhaled. The way shadows shifted from cows to hay bales to nothing at all. The pulse of vitality as the crickets' chatter fell into sync with the flares of fireflies and his own heartbeat.

The next night, when he returned to the house, the door was locked. He went back to the field and lay down in a hollow left by a sleeping doe and looked up at the sky, and he pretended he saw the pictures his ancestors had found there.


© Copyright 2018 A Thomsen. All rights reserved.

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