Hi, I'm Sarah and this is a collection of some flash fiction, short scenes, and poetry that I wrote before December 2020
To The Travelers
It’s been a while.
I have a confession,
I’ve kind of been avoiding you.
It’s not that I don’t want to see you it’s just
Who are you now?
I know I kind of fell off the planet when we went our separate ways
I do that sometimes. When gravity feels too heavy and I’m sick of it dragging me along.
But I’m always reminded, when I get out there, that weightlessness is nothing but floating alone
It’s a lot harder to tell where you’re going that way.
But even so, it feels strange to try to wonder about the weather on the other side of the world.
So I’m sorry.
I promise I still love you.
I just don’t know how to hold onto a person
When you’re going different directions.
No one is going the same direction.
And if we’ve lost our old meeting place will we ever find a new one?
I shouldn’t say that.
Just because I’ve changed doesn’t mean that you have.
Not the important parts.
And who cares about time anyway,
Eventually it’s not going to matter, right?
That’s what I tell myself
And I’m working on believing it.
In the meantime
I’m glad you’re here, and
I watch him, and him, and him, and him all singing on stage in this empty theater. I can absolutely taste his happiness. I wonder if you kiss one of him do the others get jealous? Focus, he's singing and he'll ask me what I think later. One of him is going for a falsetto riff; it sounds so good, so crystal clear, it makes my jaw ache. And his smile and the electricity that all of him are absolutely glowing with! I feel like I either need to rush the stage or pass out. But instead I stand and wait for the take to be finished, and I know that I'd be the jealous one if I only kissed one of him. Because he's got way more than one person worth of everything inside, that's why there are so many of him, it has to be, and it makes me feel small that he loves me.
Chris calls cut, and I walk stiffly between the isles of empty chairs down toward the stage because I know that if I ran it wouldn't be fast enough. I look at him, and all of him look down at me except for the one that's talking to the sound guy. I look him each in the eye and I want to smile. I try, but I can't. My jaw aches. I am waiting for him to gather all his selves back into one, and then he will kiss me. All of him will kiss me, and no one will be jealous, and I will enjoy everything I have and everything I can't possibly have, and know that maybe there's enough inside all of me to have all of him. Because he always gives me all of him.
Beauty After Her Beast
Our wedding day was not one of unmingled joy as I would have wished it. He held me in a moment of quiet behind the tapestries a little after our vows were said, and tears burst from my eyes filled with love but also heartache. I cherished him no less than the day I had disclosed my affection for him, but a part of him, a part of us, seemed absent. I missed how his paw simply swallowed my hand whenever they met. I missed the vast chest I had leaned upon, he could no longer engulf me the way he had once, and I had barely let him then. But it was not his shape itself that I grieved for so much as the way his heart came through it. I wanted my family and friends to observe the contrast of his manner when he became soft, how it seemed all the more gentle from within that hulking body. To, at the wedding feast, regard him sitting at the table’s head, full of hard won confidence that he belonged there, and to see the easiness of our conversation as we dined together. Perhaps these were self conscious, prideful desires, but the tenderness we held between us was a blessing both had fought hard to win, and I wanted those dear to me to understand and accept him in his completeness as I had come to. I needed them to know that I was not ashamed to love him as he had been, but also how brave, bold, and kind he was to love me.
But there was nothing I could do or say to convey this richness as he stood beside me in the body of a man. It was a miracle whisked away into a closet, and become a rumor. I twitched at each polite greeting that was offered between the whispers, until my beloved father stepped forward. As he offered us his congratulations, the easy convenience with which I watched him divorce the monster he had met that first night at the castle from the stately man whose hand he now congenially shook tore my heart to pieces.
Come, Little Godling
Come, Little Godling, let me hold you
I know you feel empty
Like all you have ever depended on has left you.
It is because you are overflowing.
One day you will be big enough to hold it all
And then you will know
How powerful you have always been.
Until then, come, Little Godling, let me show you
How full you are
I carry a bird inside me, within my belly, just above my womb. It is perfectly enveloped in my flesh as if it's always been there, and perhaps it has. It is warm as a fresh egg and light as a cool breeze. Sometimes it flutters and dips and planes, other times it sleeps and I can feel the vibration of its suspended life. It reminds me that there are things worth protecting, and that I am worth the safety that is spent on me.
Ceiling, Wall, Floor
A girl is trapped. The room is small and solid—the walls are the same size and shape as the ceiling which is the same size and shape as the floor—every way she turns things look the same. There is cot in one corner on the floor. The same cot that is in the corner on each wall and on the ceiling. And there is a window in each wall, just like the windows in the ceiling and the floor. Every way the girl turns things look the same. She often wonders if she is up or down or sideways. There are four whole ways to be sideways. Perhaps the ceiling is, in reality, the floor, or the floor is truthfully a wall, and does she really know when she gets up in the morning that she is in the cot she fell asleep in? Maybe yesterday's ceiling is a wall today. Sometimes she thinks about how unique this monotony is.
But she's sure that there must be something different about the view from each window, and it interests her. She can't see it from inside the room, but they cannot really all be the same place, can they? She sticks her head out. She tastes the air. The sun is so bright outside her room that she cannot see much other than sun. She thinks there is grass, and she thinks there is sky, but she is not sure, with her head out the window, which way is the sky and which the grass. She'd love to touch them both but she doesn't know if she can if she isn't sure which one she's touching.
She thinks all the time about leaving the room. About why she wants to, about what she would do and how she might do it. About what might be outside. About grass and sky. And about up and down and sideways. She doesn't know if she she is up or down or sideways, and what if she reaches for grass...and gets sky? What if she is the thing that is different outside her window and she falls forever?
But we know, looking in on her, what she can't see poking her head out the windows of her room. That, whether she is up or down or sideways, outside is all the same place: it is outside. And she does not know, sitting on her ceiling floor and looking up at her wall ceiling, where every way she turns things look the same, that when you fall it is always toward something, and that that is how gravity works.
The Legend of Mother Earth and Father Ocean (or How the Mer-Folk Came to Be)
Long ago, even before the ancient ones, Mother Earth and Father Ocean were very much in love. They spent centuries together, side by side, alone with only each other in the universe. Their joy was immeasurable, and it occurred to them that the only thing that could give them even more happiness would be to share that joy with others: they wished to have children. So at the place where Mother Earth and Father Ocean met they made a fertile clay, and out of that clay they made man.
Mother Earth made plants and fruits and creatures to nourish and nurture their children, and Father Ocean sent rain to keep his children and all their gifts alive. But the children followed the gifts of the earth out of the sea and further and further onto the land. Father Ocean missed his children, and so he made his own gifts to entice them back: creatures and plants of all colors, shapes and sizes, but his children had been away so long that the new creations did not recognize their brothers and became shy and difficult to catch, and Father Ocean’s children remained on land.
Father Ocean fell into despair. At first he raged, sending storms and waves to destroy the gifts of Mother Earth, but in the end the destruction he caused only made him more sad. In his deep sorrow, he began to forget to send the rains in their time, and the land became dry and desolate as it had been before Father Ocean and Mother Earth had begun their creations, and his children suffered.
The humans scorned him for his carelessness and negligence, and begged Mother Earth to save them, but she could do nothing for them without Father Ocean’s help, for they had created their children together. At last, a man, who had seen many hardships in his own days, went to Father Ocean to ask why he did not send rain.
“Oh, my child," said Father Ocean, "I am sorry for your pain. In my sorrow I forgot to send rain upon the land, but I do not wish for my children to suffer. Go back to your people and tell them that they may expect my rains tonight."
But the man did not leave.
“Father Ocean," he said with concern, "what is it that makes you so sorrowful?'
“My children have all deserted me for the land, and I am very lonely" Father Ocean responded.
The man smiled. "Oh, Father Ocean, it was wrong of us to forget you, but we miss you also." Then the man considered.
“Father Ocean," he said, "I wish to return to your depths to keep you company for the rest of my days."
Father Ocean sighed.
“My child, your compassion comforts me, but I do not wish for you to share my sorrows, for you would become lonely living in my depths."
“I will bring my family and friends," said the man.
“It is a kind offer, but they will not come; they do not care for me. Go, tell your people that I will send rain, and live your life with them on land."
“I will come back with them," the man insisted. "You are their father, and they will come according to your wishes."
And with that the man left. Father Ocean sighed with sorrow and began to prepare the rain, feeling that it would be yet another many years until he again spoke to any of his children.
However, when the man returnd to the village he gathered his dearest friends and family.
“We have forgotten Father Ocean" he told them, "and he morns for our company. Come with me, and we will rejoin him, and live in his blessing the rest of our days."
His loved ones agreed; "Father Ocean has given us so much, we will gladly return to him with our gratitude if he will accept us." And so they followed the man back to the place where the land meets the water.
Father Ocean wept for surprise and joy when he saw them coming, and the rain he had prepared showered down and began to bring the whole earth back to life. Mother Earth’s dormant gifts sprung up beneath the human’s feet as they came, and, by the time they reached the place where the land met the water, the whole world was green.
“My children!" Father Ocean rejoiced, "I have missed you so. Come and enter my blessing!" And he opened his depths to them, but the humans did not move.
“Why do you hesitate?" Father Ocean asked, shrinking back in doubt and worry.
“Our people have lived so long on land that we have forgotten how to live beneath your waves." The man knelt humbly before Father Ocean. "Will you teach us, father?" He asked.
“My child," said Father Ocean, touching the man’s shoulder, "enter my depths and I will bless you that you will never drown."
So they entered the water, and Father Ocean filled them with himself and taught them to breath his water so they would not drown. He blessed them with tails so they could explore his depths, and with power so they could share the breath of himself that he had given them and welcome others into his blessing. And the man and his loved ones were happy, and Father Ocean was comforted, and no longer lived alone. But he still misses his land children from time to time, and this is why the waves grasp at the shore where the water meets the earth.
The difference between us is that he's got fangs and he's careful never to use them; I haven't got fangs but I bite anyway.
Creepy Crawly Roommates
I prefer live bugs to dead ones. Not that I actually like bugs at all, it’s just that I like them slightly better in one icky piece than in several icky pieces. Unfortunately, I live in a basement where there are plenty of both genres to be found. For this reason, I often have at least one resident spider in my bathroom. They move in of their own accord. I'd prefer not to get too near them, and I'd certainly prefer not to spill their nasty little guts, so instead we’ve made a contact: I (hereafter referred to as the LANDLORD) will not bother the spider (hereafter referred to as the RESIDENT) so long as the RESIDENT doesn't bother me, and so long as it gets rid of even less welcome creepy crawly guests.
Last night I found an earwig in my shower. Thus, my current spider roommate is officially in breach of contract and in danger of being evicted via cup and note card. I told him this, but he doesn't seem to be taking me seriously, as he hasn't started packing yet. He thinks that I'm a squeamish softy, and he's probably right.