Saturday, May 26, 2007

More Perspective Fiddling

Blue Cups

by P.H. Wise

“How many cups are there, Paul?”

I look at the cups. They’re clear blue plastic cups, and the kitchen is bright, because the sun is up and shining through the window. I look out the window. Big black birds fly around in circles way up in the air. I point at the birds and ask about them, and my mom says, “How many cups, Paul?”

I don’t want to count cups. I want to go outside and play. Mom is always having me count cups or dishes, and then taking some away and making me count again and asking me how many she took away. I like the glass cups better, but Mom doesn’t let me count them anymore because I break them. Andrew tells me that he knows how many cups there are, and maybe I don’t know because I can’t count them.

I count them. There are eight clear blue plastic cups. I tell Mom, and it makes her happy. She takes some away and makes me count again. Andrew laughs at me. I tell Mom that there are six cups now. She asks how many she took away. I count on my hands, and then tell her that she took two. Andrew says he learned that faster than me. I hate him. He took my A-Team van and threw it into the creek behind Safeway, where there are lots of blackberry bushes, but there aren’t any blackberries on them now. I want to go read about Aslan and Lucy and Mr. Tumnus, or find blackberry bushes at the creek below the big house where the mean old man lives, but Mom says that I can’t until I count more.

I hate cups.



Child-narrator this time. I suppose that much was obvious.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Long Day

Long Day
by P.H. Wise

It had been a long, long day. My hair was soaked through and plastered wetly to my head. I was cold. My second floor apartment was warm, and I knew I’d get there once I got out of these wet clothes and into something more comfortable. I kicked off my heels, stripped off my stockings, and took a moment to luxuriate in the feel of the warm carpet beneath my damp toes. I went into my bedroom, took off my wet clothes and got into my pajamas. They were warm, and my mood improved immediately.

Lightning flashed in the window, and a crack of thunder split the night. There, out the window: lightning flashed again, and by its brief light, I saw him. I saw him standing in the rain, soaked to the bone, looking up at the lights of the apartment complex with a strange expression, like a drowning man in search of something – anything – to keep from going under.

Our eyes met. Our eyes met, and he looked at me in my warm pajamas with my wet, bedraggled hair as if I were a goddess. My heart was moved to pity. I smiled down at him, and his eyes widened, as if he were surprised that anyone would notice him. He bowed deeply, gratitude shining in his eyes. It was only a moment - there and gone - but he seemed strangely content as he walked away into the rainy night, and I watched thoughtfully until I could no longer see him.


Author’s note: This vignette is my first attempt at a female narrative voice. I'm reasonably well pleased with the result.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Blackberry Patch

Patch of blackberry bushes
Sound of water in the creek
Cool breeze on a warm day
Sweat beading on my forehead
fingers, juice-stained
hands, thorn-torn
Sweetness stolen from a prickly, harsh, unyielding thing