Monday, August 4, 2014

The Mystery Girl

Here is a short story by Guinevere Durado, Matt Harrison, Kelli Williams, Melanie Hilliard, Joanna Thomas White, Geof Nowak and Mike Tucker.  Each of them wrote 3 sentences without having seen anything but the last 5 words of the writing that came before theirs. 

The man’s hair grew long and sparse and yellow-white like the sinews of a rump-roast.  His flannel shirt could not quite button over the expanse of his torso, which bulged in a grotesque game of peek-a-boo for the occasional customer.  The man sat behind the liquor counter while his little finger excavated his fuzzy exposed navel as he watched old NasCar races late into the night.  While the night also races across the earth, chasing the day or being chased depending upon your preferred point of view, it sits for a moment with a woman at Denny's, as she breathes fog onto the cool glass and doodles in it with a finger. The finger doodle is a code. 

Across the street, the code is received.

She blinked her eyes a few times as she tried to make out the words. A car buzzed by, its window down, its driver languidly looking over. "I have to get home to crack this. I can't just stand here on the street," she shoved the code in her pocket and buttoned her coat.  She hurried out the door to a street she no longer recognized. It was a mish-mashed whirlwind of places she had forgotten – her grandmother’s Nebraska farmhouse, the SOHO streets from her college days, the gleaming storefront of the grocery store bursting at the seams. And as time reared its ugly head against her shadow, she thought to raise her right arm, and grasped the chord of the silk hot air balloon that had been hovering all day, and was carried up into the sky.

I found myself face to face with the birds followed by the highest tops of the tallest trees. I felt the moisture on my skin as the atmosphere started to change. Just then the wind started to carry me higher.  In the midst of this Belforeium Conundrum, I could not resist but reminisce about Saaz, the Sherpa with whom I shared a brief but profound love.  He knew the precise angle to cut the cowlick on my right side.  I should have just stayed in that cave with him forever.  And that dreaded feeling that I won't survive. It's NOT the first time, for me, it's a rush at this point. All it says to me is "let's GO, I've got nothing to fear!

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