The Wind at Your Back
"All moments were fleeting for Olive, who spent most her life trying to catch running water in a bucket. She stood against the wall opposite the bar, outside the cacophonous crowd, and tried to pick the notes of the piano out from between the loud conversations and cigarette smoke. She began to consider the possibility of these notes ever being played at the tempo, in this order ever again. It was a reminder for her that all moments are unique and individual. For a moment, she begrudged everyone in the supposed audience for avoiding that fact."
I’ve re-edited my short story The Wind at Your Back and made the new version available as a free .pdf (here). Please help yourself. I hope you enjoy.
The sun was in his eyes as he walked to his car. In his heart was a weight that reminded him how precariously he clung to this rock that was drifting in circles. It displayed an absolute lack of empathy.
"I don’t see anything," Alison said with a pout.
"You have to focus on the ceiling," Edgar explained, still looking up towards his index fingers that were touching tip-to-tip.
Alison assessed Edgar’s positioning and adjusted her posture as such. Bringing her fingers closer to the bridge of her nose in accordance to Edgar’s model, she looked at the tips of her fingers touching before gazing past them and focusing on the ceiling. She watched as her fingers invaded each other, blurring out of focus to form what appeared as a free standing object between her two index fingers.
"Oh, wow!" Alison exclaimed in response the the illusion.
"Pretty neat, right?" Edgar said as he moved his fingers in the motion of a sound wave.
"It’s looks little like links of sausage," she laughed, her eyes still towards the ceiling. "But I guess that’s something you’ve got to live with every day. Right, Sausage Fingers?" she added with a smile.
Edgar laughed uneasily and put his arm around her again. As she nestled her head, back where his neck met his shoulder, Edgar started to wonder about the hands that had previously loved Alison, navigated her soft curves, and how his chubby digits compared.
He carried it on his shoulders, the knowledge that one day, the planet he calls home would be engulfed in a collapsing sun. All trace of anything he ever knew would be erased.
To know this and to still walk around concerned with trivialities such as the accumulation of his bank account or how others perceived him was the great absurdity of his supposedly modern life.
My phone didn’t autocorrect an apostrophe to “gods.” I guess that makes it Greco-Roman.
“Do you want to hear something my mother used to tell me?” Howard asked.
“Sure,” she said softly.
He closed his eyes and swallowed as he prepared himself to speak at what, considering his rapidly declining health, was a great length.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
The words just hung there for a moment.
“That’s beautiful,” Olivia said.
“Yeah. It’s a nice little fairy tale, isn’t it?”
Grant revered his son as a true sonuvabitch. For most, he elicited feelings of contempt in his blatant disregard for their well being or personal interests. He fucked with no sense of commitment and never worked for what was given to him. He was a certain breed of asshole that would eat an entire plate of fries apparently ordered for the whole table or flatulate in a crowded elevator simply because he liked the smell.
He thought his shit was ice cream and the world should eat it.
Grant saw this manifestation of freedom as a reparation for the sacrifices he had made, such as wearing a shirt and tie and working weekends and holidays, in order to provide that for his son.
Derek was a sonuvabitch, but he was Grant’s sonuvabitch. He was Grant’s gift to the world.