Saturday, May 15, 2010

flash fiction


Premium unleaded, premium powered, she made her way to Culebra, said, "Let's build something together." He balked, of course: he'd seen el mariachi loco before; distaffed, it mattered not. Portland was in progress: there'd be time for that when the getting was good, or at least getting. Shamu along for the ride, sans trainer, may she rest in peace. Cetaceous vagabond’s got a lovely ring to it.

The river was rising. Not the downtown rinse bowl, jeweled green jade paste, no: the Frio, the underground jewel out west, spilling her banks, spilling the banks of everyone up and down the canyon. Word came to him late, as it will, and he blamed the chancery, fizzing pharmaceuticals, and the carrion downpour in May. It had been decades since the likes of Nadine in green pools, tiring in the green lines, the tender brown flesh beneath, and the tenderest white beneath all that. In his shirking days, he would have shirked his way with not a moment’s hesitation, grilling no further than the balanced hemispheres of his less than nautical brain. It was crying time in these days beyond the green line, and no amount of Brubeck, Walton, or Tyner was gonna stop the thrashing: it demanded a passel of self-examination he’d given up on shortly after she’d taken all the brown beneath that thin green line and left him gasping, for the not and the always and the never no mo’.

It was Hondo before they spoke, forty miles of hand surfing out the windows. The prospect of brother V’s barbecue pit and the angels in heaven under the shade and the wisp of a green line at the horizon . . . it all welled up inside him as he pulled into the icehouse on the corner of Gray and Tuttle. Seek and ye shall find; he’d been bled of that one for years. He turned corners yearning through oceans of time and found the green line fading, gone, impaled by desire still hunting.

“Here,” she said, at the eight mile crossing on the farm to market road. Irrigated rows of green corn bled into the horizon; she splashed barefoot down the sodden alleyways, leaving him to consider what else was left to him but decades more of seeing her recede into the mist. “Alone Together” sung in Carmen’s living room the night before, beyond the crowd, above the world, we’re not too proud—it stung him then and stung him now. She’d shed all her clothes by now except the thin green line, turned a face to him that he’d seen only once on the horizon of her, deep in those last days when loss had a sting that almost mimicked joy. Blood oranges, he’d wept beyond all the ropes of pity he could manage to find.

“You’re next!” she cried, and the ghost of him rose from behind the wheel, he felt the green lines upon himself now, the brown beneath the green, the tenderest white beneath the heart of him. His fingers sang in the green tips of the plants, his toes squished in the mud. He found her halfway down a row, the water burbling around her, spilling into the next row and the next and the next. He lay down in the row beside her, felt the tendrils of his roots grasping for more beneath the mud and watched as the green line dissolved in the sky above him and sailed away.



Blogger Dee Martin said...

I'm sorry - blame it on me reading this and following twitters as the Paris boys won game 2 in baseball playoffs but I got confused. Are they (humans) disappearing?

10:41 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

At first I thought he was an oil executive, tempted by Shamu and the orcas to mine the murky depths of the oceans, tempted by the Culebra of greed to skimp on safety nets... a whale of a disaster.

But then I realize that they are hill billy hucksters getting down and dirty in somebody's cornfield, sinking in the mud and the green, till the roots come out and wrap around their ears. Pretty corny there, Murat.

11:14 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: No blame necessary here, girl. The paragraphs only make it look like fiction: it's still surrealist poetry without the line breaks.

I spent the morning editing a magnificent piece of fiction by one of my departing seniors. I could the feel the need for some paragraphs coming on; it struck as I was driving around town this afternoon with Walden. This grew out of some images that have stayed and played with my head for the past few weeks.

There were obvious questions that arose in the writing that I really made no attempts to answer: intersections and inconsistencies, but for me, I was still just chasing words and letting the waves roll.

But, no disappearance; if anything at all, maybe a resurgence, baptism in the rows, sinking back into some of once was. I was surprised that the haunting green line is what disappeared, since that was the image strongest held.

11:17 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: Woof. I believe your call is the Mad Magazine version or I'm so captured by the strange romance here I can't see the hills for the billies. Sounds like Chevy Chase will have to do the screenplay. Or Porky Pig - for the corn; he be one feral pig, for sho.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

Ha I like Teresa's take! I got turned around googling thin green line. Trying to see too much seriousness. It DID read like a poem and first run through that was where it took me. Should have relaxed and enjoyed the view.
I was on the edge of my seat refreshing twitter catching details of the baseball game. First time I have done that and it made me think of the old days when people listened on the radio. It may have seemed more exciting getting the little blurbs about what was happening that if I had actually been there but it was a wild ride for sure. They advanced to the next level and a bunch of them are seniors that I have gotten to know well over the last four years. Distracted me!

7:15 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Well, I read this after outlining 6 of 8 essays from a study sheet for an upcoming exam. We will have 2 hours in which to answer 30 t/f questions and write 6 half-page essays of the professors choice. In a minute I will get cracking on the last two essay prompts and then begin studying and studying everything since the midterm. It is enough to make anyone think like Alfred E. Newman. I was not intending to diss your profound and wonderful surreal poetry with the thin green line...

10:38 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: Congrats to the b-ballers. The only google-able thin green line that I can think of is that green flash that supposedly comes as the sun is setting, but this thin green line is much more obscure and self-referential than that.

2:07 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Miz T: I had a feeling I got caught in the crossfire of some deadly academia weighing heavily, all while a couple of my vagrant characters go soaking theyselves in some West Texas acequias.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Tammy Brierly said...

I re-read after reading how it came to be and simply rode the waves.

2:34 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Welcome to Muravia, Tammy. Your prescription for reading this fool's writing is the perfect dose. Thanks for giving it another run.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

Teresa? I'll stick with baseball. That or soaking in east Texas mud!

3:56 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Atta girl, Dee!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I'm ready for a mudbath about now. Baseball is good, too. The Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles are cleaning up lately. Always a good thing.

7:24 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Mud'll work, T.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

mud would be more calming. Our start pitcher suffered a spiral fracture of his hand? wrist? I hate it when the kids get hurt. I did however learn what it meant to be "plunked" Hmmmph - hit one of our boys on purpose with the ball? there's a word for one of your poems proessor :)

5:12 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

I was plunked:
gadfly jitters, they
was swarmin the corpse
of our feast:
Noodletown ain't got
jitters in spirals,
they's the ones
with master plans,
5-year tooting,
scope and sequence
down Dante's dirty
dirt road; forget
the wood,
clearcut into
hellcat oblivion:
I was polite in
the old days,
now's I just
craters: it's all
in the synch,
it's all in
the run for cover.

5:56 PM  

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