elementia Short Story
The ink darkens, leeching my energy as I trace an index over the text. A rejection letter from California Institute of the Arts, and best regards. No better than every other art academy who also shelved my portfolio.
The letter lands neatly in the bin. I stalk to my studio.
Ok, so it’s mid April during Spring break and you’re on the wretched 1 train. You get on at 28th street after a sleepover with your best friend who, in 11 months, will no longer be your friend. You find a seat next to a robust woman who we’re going to call Katelyn.
The parking lot felt stagnant as Jude walked across empty yellow lines. The air was weighted with the cold, heavy enough that it almost seemed like the cloud of her breath dispersed down rather than up. The lights flickered above her head with a steady, fly-like buzz.
Every Saturday, after work, I visit my grandmother at her nursing home. It’s about a half an hour drive to get there, but it’s worth the drive. Grandma G isn’t the normal nursing home type you’d think of: sweet, unsuspecting, a kind of elderly innocence.
A mindless leaf fluttered out of nowhere and perched on my sandaled foot. In the distance, a disorganized medley of birdsong made up an unrehearsed orchestra. Idyllic as it was, I was in the middle of a fairly typical snapshot of spring.
“Hostile vehicle moving to desired location, ”Ryan heard his spotter and put his handheld bible back into his shirt pocket. Ryan’s face was smeared with camouflage paint, and his rifle was covered in a rifle wrap, with his Ghillie suit covering the rest of his body.
She fell on top of me, burrowed her face in my fluff, hands smacking the down inside of me, legs kicking, wriggling, growing restless at the foot. Every night I gave her comfort, she told me her secrets, whispered in the meekest of voices of the taunts and the teases and the tortures of the day.
You ask me If I know the way back home from here. I sing the words, “yes, dear” back to you like I’m someone else. You say “alright” because you’ve got nothing else to say right now; I respect that. I keep my eyes on the road. I’m not quite sure where you’re looking at this point
When we finally start talking to each other after the fall, huddling on the side of the island where the black-eyed humans can’t hear us, we all tell the same story. A day that started with the sun rising and waking up and going off to whatever it is we do during the day.
I feel that if I move from this spot I will die. But I take a step forward and don’t.
Forgive me father for I have sinned.