The man was raw-boned, sleek, could skate like the wind that blew out of Canada on days like these around the corner of Appleton and Summer Streets, near cliff faces where the Montreal Tunnel holds forth. His hair was dark, his eyes held stories recessed and reserved, but he wore a magnificent pair of hockey gloves. Great, shiny black elegant things, tools of the trade. If he stood still, you’d swear you could smell the new leather of them.Continue reading “The Ice of Old Lily Pond by Tom Sheehan”
Nina and I were just kids when we started running into oncoming traffic. Dodging cars was something that felt natural – a part of growing up, facing demons we didn’t know we had. We’d sit on the low curb, flicking crisps into the gutter like cards into a top hat, then as we heard the rumbling of a car approach, we clamped hands and dashed into the street. We experienced short spurts of ecstasy, drifting away on a sublime high and yet the feelings were short-lived, elusive.
The pomp with the primered Ranchero dropped three stacks of jackrags in the alley behind Elmo’s Adult Books and rang the bell. This happened every other Saturday afternoon. Sometimes the pomp waited for old Elmo to waddle back, sometimes he’d drive off before the fat fuck unlocked the back door. It was one of the times the pomp drove off first. Tess stood lookout, and I dashed from our side of the alley, snatched a bundle, and got back under cover with seconds to spare. Then it was off to Fort Oxenfree, leaving Elmo a little poorer.
Long and lanky and always of a dark eye, ever adept at study of any kind, Wingsy held a broad maple leaf aloft, with fine fingers at the end of one long thin arm, against an angle of penetrating August sunlight. To a young friend he pointed out the webbing of shadowed filaments. As he pointed out the leafy veins, he spoke in an instructive manner, yet indirectly, as if for the moment he had but half interest, which was somewhat unlike him. Interest was something he had a facility of generating, no matter the subject.
Ten-year-old Josh walked to school on an already hot May morning. The bulldozers roared and pushed along the river, clearing the bush and the cottonwood trees for new condo development. Josh’s skinny white pony-tailed neighbour, landlord Glaser Neil called out from his yard “hey, take a look at this,” and Josh stopped. Neil often acquired odd things. Odd but interesting. Neil pointed behind his lilac bush. Josh looked over and smelled the lilacs. Glaser motioned for Josh to come in, and the boy opened the gate and peered at the back of a cage. “What’s in there?” he asked. He heard a growl.
With Respect to P.H. Emerson’s Fairy Tale, “The Crows”
I woke up this morning to the sound of crows cawing outside my window.
As I lay staring at the ceiling, I wondered how many were gathered in the yard, perched along the aging wooden fence, watching. And waiting. Was a single bird calling out in search of a friend? Were there two or three, or more, chasing away the deer that liked to nibble on Mom’s yellow roses?
Maybe they were trying to tell me something, as only crows can do.
She looked at the baby, and wondered – is there something wrong with me?
She took in its ten little fingers and toes, the soft folds of fat around its upper legs, its arms, its wrists. The perfect little mouth. She had never known such softness. And she wondered – what kind of monster am I?
He found her sitting in a tree. Her legs dangled over the edge, her dusty feet kicking back and forth. It had taken him a while to find her. It wasn’t as simple as it usually was. Each hourglass of life came with coordinates, of course. The tiny numbers ascribed on the bottom gave approximate locations. It wasn’t a perfect system. Humans weren’t as predictable as, say, ants. Things had gotten tricky when they domesticated the horse, for example. It had gotten worse with the engine. Obviously airplanes had kicked things into gear. But the hourglass makers, those bright-eyed creatures, were quick to adjust. They usually got it in the ballpark.
The cobbled streets bloat, filled with petrol fumes, birds’ droppings, and old receipts discarded by office workers returning home. A clock chimes seven times.
Mum opens the windows each morning to let the birds in and closes them at night to keep the darkness out.