Category Archives: Fiction

Fantasy

One day she woke up and realized she’d been running the same fantasy through her head for the past seven years: She finds herself in her hometown, horribly successful and intimidatingly beautiful, picking up groceries when she runs into him and he drops everything he has in his hands (he is that startled) and just stands there until she breaks the silence by saying hello. Small variations in the fantasy would occur after this; sometimes she would simply walk off and leave him there surrounded by fallen groceries, other times they would engage in witty banter which ultimately lead them outside to his car (or sometimes her car) where they would either have this amazing conversation or maybe he would take her back to his house or maybe they would just drive off to anyplace but there.

Seven years. Seven years of the same fantasy with slight alterations. Seven years of not seeking out something new, of not trying to move on or to remember him through any lens other than that golden, hazy lens applied to memories that are often sweeter than the reality.

It’s not to say she spent those seven years with no other lovers or without thinking of anyone else. But anytime she would close her eyes and think of something really great or meaningful or sensual, it would always be him. Even if she’d start thinking of someone else, eventually images of him would dominate. Without fail.

And then she woke up on that day with that realization and decided to put it to rest. It had been seven years, but she was going to end it for once and for all. She would find him, and either he would disappoint her or he would be everything she wanted him to be. Either way, he would no longer be a thing of fantasy (THE thing of fantasy), but a piece of her reality. It was time to stop dreaming and time to start living, even if that meant she would be hurt or let down or, even worse, find life to be better than her fantasies.

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Stumbling Block

They were standing there so still I didn’t even see them until I almost stumbled over the smallest one. I had gotten so used to only being with certain types of people of a certain age group that I had all but forgotten these miniature versions of people existed.

The smallest one looked up at me with big eyes and a dirty face. A type of alarm formed in her eyes, putting me on notice the smallest reaction from me could ignite her into tears. I froze in my steps, careful not to move. A grubby hand reached out to me; pouted lips firmly quivering and the tears remaining hidden for the moment.

I was frightened. I didn’t know what to do.

Luckily, the middle one stepped forward and pulled the smallest one back with a simple tug of her hand. The littlest one looked at her, shocked yet accepting. Then she seemed suddenly comforted. The biggest one remained a few feet behind them, watching.

“Don’t mind Amelia,” said the middle one, “She’s new to all of this.”

“What do you mean?” I asked her, “all of this?”

“You know . . . life.”

The biggest one remained silent and looked away, focusing on nothing and everything at the same time. The middle one shifted her focus back to the littlest one, placing her hand on her tiny back.

“Let’s get you back to Mom. It’s okay.”

With those words, Amelia, the littlest one, looked back at me. Her eyes were still wide and on the verge of tears, but suddenly they lit up and she relaxed her pursed lips and smiled at me. She turned back to the middle one and the trio walked away without looking back.

I continued on my way, carefully looking where I stepped before I turned every corner.

One Item or Less

I’m walking through the store, dragging my feet as I noticeably limp and feel their eyes on me scanning down to my feet. I know they’re searching for some visible sign of a handicap, some indication of why I am walking the way I do. They’re not going to find it, unless they were to sit me down and take off my shoes—new ones—and find the blisters freshly-formed on my heels where the stiff leather backings meets the soft leathery flesh. I shuffle on and try to ignore it, while simultaneously trying to make them guess that something really is wrong and I deserve their pity.

I know why I’m there and that it is for only one item and yet I find myself walking down the aisle where they keep the holiday candy items and find the Christmas candies replaced by Valentines’ Day candy. And it isn’t even January yet. I wonder if my feet are bleeding yet, if I am leaving a trail that shows me entering and quickly exiting this aisle.

I decide to just stick with the plan and go directly to the needed item, but of course it is located on the far end of the store and I need to shuffle, in pain, to the far aisles that have no real need to be that far away. It would make more sense, to me, for the seasonal items to be tucked away by the liquor and the coloring books and the organic goods, rather than the items everyone needs at any given time to be as far away from the door as humanly possible.

I concentrate on moving forward, the pain making each step more difficult and I start to worry about people pitying me rather than desiring it. It’s all I can do to not stop, reach down, and remove the shoes and carry them in my hands. And so I continue.

I glance up and stop. An outline of a man’s cheek, the shape of his head, the back of his ears and the closely cut dark hair. My heart does that thing people always write about, where it jumps up and chokes you for a minute then continues on like nothing at all happened. It looked so much like him, like how I remembered him. And I know it can’t be him, that it isn’t him, but still my heart chokes me. The faint shadow of stubble and smile lines that I can practically see, feel, him turn his head towards me and have his eyes light up in that deceiving way. But it’s not him, and it won’t be him, and what’s there to say he still even has that devilish light in his eyes. Or, if he does still have it, if the sight of me would still be enough to ignite it. And would I even want that reaction if it was him? Would I want to know that I still have that effect on him; would I still want him to have that same effect on me?

I look back down and when I look back up again, the feeling is gone and I can feel the pain in my heels again. It’s not him, it won’t be him, and I shouldn’t even be thinking of him. I have errands to run and I need to get an item and what business does he have sneaking back into my thoughts anyway? I focus instead of the pain in my feet because I know that over time it will get better and the rigidity of the backs of the shoes will loosen up and begin to provide a comfortable environment. The thoughts of him, on the other hand, are a different story.