Ride through the sickness. That’s what she had to do. She leaned against the red wall and shut her eyes from the milling crowd and ambient, amniotic lights. Her eyelids shielding her from the flashing bulbs and the photogenic smiles.
She leaned against the wall and against his reassuring torso, standing behind, and listened to the lulling acoustic music, the music that spoke blue in the face of the all the red, that was the peppermint for her nausea. A tranquilized cover of “Eight Days a Week” almost droning, but beautiful in some narcotic way. She couldn’t see the musicians if she tried, stuck there in the back on the stool the bartender had pulled out for her. She shivered once, twice, curled up into the music beneath her eyelids and rode it out.
(another story snippet)
On the balcony Luda dreams, feeling the morning air on her face. British women, she has heard, have beautiful skin, because of the moisture in the air. She thinks about this and lets the dew seep into her pores. Brown and white pigeons ruffle their feathers in a coop in the corner, coo-cooing at her and each other. She holds a butcher’s knife, idly twirling the point on her calloused finger. Which one will be for dinner?
Suddenly, a great white bird alights on the ledge, bristling, head cocking curiously. Luda stares at it. The cockatoo reciprocates. She fears it will speak, it will reproach her.
“Come in, come in, sweet bird,” she says, opening the door to the apartment. She’d love it as a pet. Would like to teach it to speak and sing. Pissou the cat looks out from under the kitchen table, two green eyes in the shadows, his black tail switching stiffly back and forth. The cockatoo has other plans: no apartment block for him. He leaves as abruptly as he came.
Luda shrugs. She puts the knife down on the ledge and opens the pigeon coop, selecting the plumpest of the bunch. She holds its body in one hand and delicately, lovingly, uses the other to break its neck.
My story “Lemon Tree Palace” has been published in the nineteenth edition of the Rockhurst Review (Spring 2006). It’s a journal based at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri and it’s printed on really nice paper, which is good for the color art section at the back. It’s a lively mix of stories and poems, if I do say so myself, and a mere $5.
If you’re interested in getting a copy, send the $5 to:
Patricia Cleary Miller
1100 Rockhurst Road
Kansas City, Missouri 641100-2561
This weekend I went to the MoCCA Art Festival to see my friend Rosemary and her new comics. I picked up her lovely, boldly-inked, and educational Mid-Cambrian Morning, about some crustaceans (?) living in a wacky period of evolution, 540 million years ago.
I also picked up a copy of Heart & Brain: A Turning Story, by Fay Ryu, as I naturally gravitate to pictures and stories about those (and other) internal organs. It’s a wordless story of, you guessed it, a meeting between a heart and a brain in a garden. I won’t give away the ending but it’s both touching and devastating.
Finally, on a related note, Teachers College is having a gallery opening called “Learning Inside (and Outside) the Box”. It’s a show devoted to the combination of creative thinking with traditional literacy skills and it exhibits original comic books by children made over the 2005-06 school year. Follow the link for details.
This sounds like horribly good fun. I’m somewhat tempted to enter.
This is a cop out of a post. So I’m taking beginner Spanish at TC’s Community Language Program. Below is a short absurd story I wrote with my limited knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. It is also probably completely incorrect.
Hoy, los gatos toman gotas de girasol. Pero el pinguino sordomudo, el gerente de la gente, toma cerveza. Los gatos y el pinguino son de la ciudad de las luces. Por cierto, la derecho de la ciudad es linguistica aplicada. Hasta luego!