Home Away from Home

Randy could see nothing exceptional in this man—a man at least twice their age. This made no sense for a survivor.

He slowly kicked open wide the driver’s door, his heart pounding against the constraints of veins. He tried to wet his lips with a dry tongue. What he wanted was a smoke. He’d quit tobacco three years ago and there was no one in the motel parking lot to bum a cigarette from anyhow. Continue reading

Sweetly Sentenced

From behind, she snatched the soda pop can out of his hand with urgency enough to spray his clothes and the back of the couch.

“You know you can’t have regular colas—” She caught sight of the empty Drumsticks® wrapper on the end table. The pitch of her voice climbed. “Ice cream?”

She faced him. “You’re a diabetic. This stuff will kill you.”

He gripped in his fist the candy bar he’d opened before his wife’s unexpected return from errands. The chocolatey guts squished from between his fingers.

She stood back and crossed her arms, glaring as if he were her child. “What, have you got a death wish?”

He glanced away.

©2015 Sandra R. Davidson (Image)
deepfriedmars

Double Glazed

“It’s my job, Rick.”

“Whoa, they laying you off?”

“Nah, I’m good, I’m good.” James took a drag from the fresh espresso. “I’m on the phone with a person for a minute, two max—except today. Today I get a 20-minute window into this couple’s life. He puts me on speaker phone and walks around the house. This woman’s voice comes on. They’re laughing together trying to get the motion detector apart. The guy finally manages it and she’s, like, cheering.”

Rick nods in the slow quiet between them.

“I could use me some cheering.”

©2015 Sandra R. Davidson (Image)

Let the Word Out

Three short stories in and I’m closing the Nook. I enjoy reading; I am a writer. One love does not diminish the other, only informs it.

I lost an adult lifetime of writing somewhere in the ones-and-zeroes of computer files. Journal, fiction, nonfiction, poetry—all of it is gone.

Before admonishments for digital redundancy march up through the comments, Continue reading

Merging Lanes Ahead

It is elder Sunday at the store with the lowest prices in town. Some are unnatural odds tossed against stained pleather powered by a body able to drive; some are simple couples. Sometimes the Whiz stands alone.

Glazed donuts, a photo by Jessica Gale found on MorgueFile.com“I wonder if these are any good…,” his voice trails off until I glance to my left. There’s a box of nine large donuts with sugar glaze. Nothing wrong with his peripheral vision, “I mean, I’m hungry. These look good.” He laughs to be caught talking himself into donuts.

I offer chastisement with with a generous smile to a man easily 30 years my senior, “Oh, I know better than to shop when I’m hungry.”

Both of his hands grasp the box firmly as he appraises their possibilities.

I gesture at his nearly full cart, “Oh, I see! You have been shopping while you’re hungry.” We laugh a moment until he moves off toward a woman in a wheelchair.

I continue puzzling over bagel A or bagel B because the sort I prefer aren’t in stock at the moment and my husband chides me for planning to buy a bagel for the drive home. “I’m hungry.” His eyes are expressive and he’s happy to fetch an apple we didn’t grab while we were in the produce section.

This is a bag-it-yourself sort of store. As we leave, Hungry Man isn’t experiencing a hardship while sacking his box of donuts; the box is neatly wedged in the otherwise unused child seat of the cart. I skitter from my husband’s side long enough to say, “Now, you’ll have to tell me if those donuts are any good by the next time you see me.” Our spouses look puzzled when the Hungry Man and I snicker at the end of the checkout belt.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Plain Plait

Modern Sculpture of a Woman with Long HairI manage to keep this bag with me. Years. I may well have been born with it.

Its many-colored haircloth is seamless and drawn tight on itself by a braid. I have repaired it with my own strands; first blonde, then browns, now grays.

It must weigh half an ounce, if that. Here—open it. Yes, open it.

I know! Black as any night with storm. I have known moments in life to be so dark. Is there a scent of rain from within, or does my imagination brew it? No trick there; it is as small on the inside…except—well, no, that would sound dramatic.

Those dark moments I mentioned? I-it sounds wild.

Yes, alright. How to tell you?

When I don’t know what more there is, the times my mind empties and no solutions come, the braid looses itself as the sides of the bag bulge.

I have learned to accept the strangeness of it and let the bag fall away on its own.

Then into life appear the most uncanny blessings. I cannot not ask for what I do not know I need, but there it is. I gather the slack bag and try to embrace what is given me, hope.

Surely you haven’t lost yours? Oh. Come, let me help you weave.

© 2014 Sandra R. Davidson