Rata and Jack made their way down the slimy wooden gangplank set haphazardly into the shittier sections of the road, sections where feet and scooter tires would sink into sludge.
“Guess who’s sitting in front of me right now?”
My wife Beth was calling from work, from the nursing home where she’s been a hospice nurse and head of an Alzheimer’s ward for a number of years. She is without doubt the most compassionate woman I have ever known. While the dignity of patients come first with her and as much pain-free existence as she can possibly imagine for them, coming towards the end in most cases, she can nevertheless get rocked by hard associations. It is her curse in life, but, of all the women I have met, she is best equipped for this task.
There’s no town today where Indian Hollow, Illinois, used to be. You could start at Cairo and head six or seven miles north to Mound City and never find a trace of Indian Hollow along the way. But if someone told you there used to be a town in between Cairo and Mound City that’s not there anymore, you could maybe figure out what had happened to it because for the whole six or seven miles you’d see the Ohio River on your right. You might guess that flooding had made the town disappear even if you’d never heard of the Ohio River flood of 1937. The flood of 1937 killed four hundred people and left a million homeless. It put Mound City under twelve feet of water.
But First, More Prefatory Gibberish by Miss Stoker-Belle
As any intelligent person can see, I do not control what is said about me in the bold-face heading. In a rare moment of forgetfulness, I had overlooked demanding approval of the heading’s content upon graciously consenting to present the Feeble Fable introductions. This tiny oversight forces me to spend the first paragraph or two of my introductions refuting the bold-faced insults laid on me by my employer, the semi-sentient, Ms. Allison.
Solitude’s slight light falls faintly across my folded hands
Surrounded by the vacuum of his absence I shiver
a freedom vibration to the tune of Footloose and Fancy-free
Lost and found.
That’s where Kathleen would go if this had happened at a big box store, her carelessness broadcast over the loudspeaker. Instead, she lost something precious in the snow, in deep, cold, silent snow. Beautiful, but impossible to search — unlike the hard floors and ordered aisles of housewares and sports equipment, toiletries and toys.