Tag: Surreal

Once a Mother by Stephanie Parent

Mother takes her Baby Girl to the park on the first warm day of the year. The bluebells have burst into bloom, turning familiar grass into a foreign seascape. Baby Girl wobbles with unpracticed feet on bulbous cerulean heads. She sways as if she floats atop the waves of a real ocean.

Mother loves to hold Baby Girl’s hand, keeping her steady, even if it means crouching till Mother’s young knees ache like an old woman’s. Baby Girl clenches her tiny fingers with determination: one step, then another, then another. Mother only wishes her daughter’s flesh did not stay so rigid and cold, despite the sun’s sweet caresses.

Moving Paper by Tyler Plofker

My first day at the company was spent moving paper. One stack, about five inches thick. From my desk, to the table in the hall, to the floor near the table in the hall, and back. Over and over. The paper was to rest in each spot for five minutes and no more than five minutes. Nothing was printed on the pages.

I had interviewed the day before by accident. Intending to apply for an admin position at a nearby accounting office, I’d gotten the addresses mixed up.

Digging It by Diana Devlin

My dad told me when I was, like, seven or eight that if I dug long enough I’d eventually reach Australia. And I believed him. I mean, why wouldn’t I? He’d worked on building sites all his life, knew about that kinda stuff. Ryan, he’d say, you dig hard, son and I tell you, you’ll strike gold one day but you gotta put the effort in. He was big on effort, my old man. Work ethic, he called it. Refused to accept that jobs weren’t as easy to come by nowadays, especially for people who came from shitholes like Dilly.

Last week of the summer holidays and the sun was still splitting the sky. Amos and I didn’t know what to do with ourselves it was so damn hot. None of the girls wanted to hang out – probably worried their make-up would melt or their hair would go frizzy – so we decided to head for the beach. May as well make the most of it before the big exams. We’d soon be locked in our rooms for the best years of our lives, extracted by our parents for dentist appointments or lectures on fuckin personal hygiene.

Bone Apple Teeth by Mason Yates

Although she had been feeling nervous—a horrid anxiety had infested and made itself a home in her gut—for the past few days, Kate Knight (her last name had been Rains less than five days ago) felt it even more when she stepped off the crowded Tokyo street and into the dark alley that reeked of urine, cigarettes, and burned food.  For some unknown reason, her legs shook with a strange violence, sweat beaded her pale forehead, and every particle of blood bubbled inside her veins.  Because of her shaking—not to mention the slippery cobblestone ground, too—she kept a slow pace as she wandered into the darkness, the radiant neon signs behind her starting to fade, as well as the energetic voices of the touristy road that simmered into susurrations.  Kate clung to her husband as they descended into the black.  Brick buildings enclosed themselves around them, chunky rats scuttled next to the walls and squeaked every so often, and above them, a black night sky, one where no stars resided, seemed to weigh heavy upon them.

Breaking Up with Melanne Collie by Sam Lesek

“C’mon babe, let’s watch another show,” Melanne Collie said, swathed in an unwashed, grey hoodie, and face painted with runny mascara. “Or we can take another nap.” She had felt Jack’s phone vibrate through the sofa cushions.

 Jack could no longer remember how long they’d been a couple for. Even the memory of their first meeting was foggy. But Mel had moved into Jack’s small apartment almost immediately, decorating it to her taste–with dust, a dish-filled sink, and closed curtains. “Hang on, Mel,” he said.

Commitment Issues by Emily Harrison

I found her on a pale Tuesday, which is a good way to describe most Tuesdays in Scarborough. The weekend has a habit of sucking the light inside its vacuum.

The Tuesday was like any other except for random curiosity I decided to stop by the corner shop I walked past many (many) times on my way to the bakery. I’m sure it was a front for dealers. They only accepted cash and stayed open until 10pm on Sundays, selling things like joke cigarettes and cartons of milk.

They sold her too. The marionette.

Moat by Subhravanu Das

When I was a child, Bear built a moat around my crib.

The poison ivies that Bear had coiled along the frame of my crib were not enough protection. A deer or a rabbit—with their Bear-like immunity to poison ivies—could have chewed through them, chewed through me. Hence, Bear, with Bear-claws wrapped around a shovel, carved up the plateau circling my crib and filled the steaming cavity with the tears of a Lotus Queen.