All Stories, General Fiction

Hundreds of Little Pieces by Rachel Sievers 

The glass falls from the counter and I find myself sucking in air right before an explosion of small bits of glass and red liquid spill out over the beige tile. I mourn the glass in the aftermath, not that it is anything special, but I hate to waste anything regardless of its obscurity of significance.

Had the glass taken a downward projection just inches from its first course it could have landed on a barrage of things that would have kept it safe. I wonder absently if I can put it back together, and then conclude that yes, I will be able to. Despite the hundreds of pieces, I am sure I can save it, so I look around for a container to put it in. 

The small walkway I have maintained snakes through my house and I look around for a box. At the top of the mound, which contains mostly clothing items and a few kitchen things that protrude like growths at the top, I see what I am looking for. A plastic cottage cheese container perched atop the adult size pile. 

Pivoting to my left I see a broom handle sticking from a mound that’s foundation was my heather couch. I pull on the handle and a small avalanche starts, it blocks the path to my door. I will need to fix that later. 

The broom, which would be useful both now and when I am picking up the glass, reaches to the top of the pile and with a gentle tap, I am able to get the cottage cheese container to tilt and fall to the path. 

Picking up the container in my empty hand I move to the kitchen and sweep up the broken glass placing it gently into my cottage cheese container. Waste not, want not. The wine that the glass once held clings to the broom’s bristles. 

I move to the sink to rinse it. My sink is empty, a vast void of metal, I feel my stomach twist and I push past the need to fill the sink with something. I instead focus on washing the end of the broom. Doing so is tricky; there are piles of clean dishes on each side. Had these dishes fallen, most would be fine, being made of plastic and the large piles of dish towels under them, but still, I don’t want to make a mess. 

Finally, and with painstaking slowness, I finish the broom and walk back to put it into the pile over the couch. There I notice the slide that has blocked the way out. I will need to deal with this before bed. 

Going quickly back to the cottage cheese container, perched on a pile of newspapers on the counter, I grab it and put it in the pile with the other broken glass that I will fix as soon as I have time. Everything in its place and a place for everything, I smile at how organized I have become. I remember the days after starting my second year at college and what a mess I had been back then. I couldn’t find anything, it had taken time but I finally have placed everything in an organized manner. 

Thoughts of the avalanche in the living room bring a lump to my throat. I can’t have that. Moving through my path I walk to the spot and a creeping sense of dread starts in the pit of my stomach. 

“Stop it,” I said aloud, “you have dealt with much worse.” I take three calming breaths like Dr. Mathers taught me and then look at the spot. On top of the hip waist mound, I see a bit of orange. I pull on it and find my high school throw. I haven’t seen this in forever. I pull at the corners until I find what I am looking for, my name embroidered with a little volleyball. I smile to myself and rub the corner to my face, it is still soft. I fold it neatly and place it near the couch with the other blankets. Taking care of the pile will be no trouble at all, and the knot in my belly eases. A spot for everything, and everything in its spot. 

Rachel Sievers

Image: Grap, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

9 thoughts on “Hundreds of Little Pieces by Rachel Sievers ”

  1. Hello again Rachel,
    This is a deceptively simple piece, dealing with a complex topic, and I imagine it is one that will resonate with many people: those who need to navigate through life (and often around it) in an excruciatingly deliberate manner, being a method wholly necessary to keep the center intact.
    The piece is cleverly paced, culminating in the casual reference to ‘Dr Mathers’ that suddenly (and deftly) brings the narrator’s extreme analysis of the mundane into meaningful focus.
    This is strong writing and a skillfully executed work.

    I wish you well with your continued writing.


  2. Hi Rachel,
    I will always champion your work. And I will always tell those who spit out the dummy after a few rejections that you are the epitome of professionalism.
    Myself, Diane and Leila are always delighted to see your work being showcased and it has been an absolute pleasure working with you over the years.
    And this is another brilliant piece of thought provoking work that shows what an accomplished writer you are.
    All the very best.


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