Tag Archives: magic

A Moment at a Sigur Ros Concert

As Sigur Ros played melodically on the stage, a Chinese paper lantern gently rose, lifted higher, and disappeared on the horizon, creating a moment of pure magic.

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The Letter

She always dreaded that the day would come.  He had been serving in the army for a second tour of duty, and she would often have nightmares of that fateful moment.  The men would come, dressed in their uniforms, and solemnly approach her home with that letter, the typed, impersonal apology from the United States government.

It had happened to Ethyl down the street, and she spent days there, consoling her, bringing casserole after casserole, returning home with the emptied dish every night with the knowledge that she would just have to fill it up again tomorrow, a shared sympathy.  After all, it could just as easily be Ethyl bringing the casseroles to her.

And then one evening, she was sitting watching the television when she heard a car coming down the street and just knew.  She got up, still dressed from her long day of shopping with Ethyl, attempting to keep her mind off of her loss, and she could see the car slowly driving down the street.  She watched from the window, lights off, praying that the car would just pass her house.

It pulled into her driveway, a long, black Buick, and the headlights illumined the space around her, through the window.  For some reason she grabbed her purse, an afterthought, or perhaps something to hold onto when the news came.  She watched as two older men in uniform got out of the car and straightened their shirts, double-checking for perfection.  Then one reached into his pocket and withdrew the envelope.

For a brief moment, she felt a breath on the back of her neck, and she turned and saw her husband there.  The men approached her stoop.

She reached out to touch him, and he smiled, just for a moment.  The men were at the door now.

His smile disappeared, and he nodded knowingly, reassuringly, and she knew what he was trying to tell her.  The men knocked.

She looked down at the carpet, freshly vacuumed, felt the gentle caress of his hand at the small of her back, and when she looked up he was gone.

The Wish of the Wooden Man (A Flash Fiction Fantasy)

I sat at my art desk drawing a wooden model man.  I had him posed as if he were frozen, mid-air, while skipping down the road.  One arm flailed towards the heavens, the other reached out as if it would make him land an inch farther, both of his legs stretched as if jumping a hurdle.

That’s when I heard the voice.  “Why?”  It was calm, quiet, mysterious and yet manly.  Almost whispered, with a childlike tone.

I looked around, confused.

“All I want is to be positioned naturally, just once.”

I strained my ears, listening for the source.  It sounded as if it were right in front of me, coming from the wooden man, and yet, it also seemed to come from deep inside of me as well.

“What do you mean?”  I asked, prying more words so as to detect the source.

“You always position me in unnatural poses.  Jumping, dancing, walking, but never how a real person would jump, dance or walk.  Always different from a human.”

It was definitely coming from the wooden man.

“It’s the part you play, my friend,” I said to him, turning the invisible face towards me so I could see if there were any visible changes.

“I just want to look human.  I’m supposed to represent one.  Why make me stand so many ways, and yet none of them make me feel more like you?”

“So what, I should sit you on the couch in front of the tv?  Should I put you to sleep at night, under the covers?”

“You’re mocking me.  All I want is to be like you.  And you mock me.”

I turned him away from me a bit.

“I guess I never thought of you as a sentient being before.  How was I to know this was what you wanted?”

“You should have known.  You should have guessed.”

“Well, I apologize.  How would you like to be posed?  Your wish is granted.  Tell me.”

The wooden statue failed to respond, trying to decide, I assumed.  I picked him up so he knew I was serious.  Finally he responded.

“Sitting in a chair.  That’s what I would like.”

“Should I put you on an actual chair, or just position you as if you were sitting on one.”

“Those chairs are much too big for me.  So I guess just a pretend chair.”

I picked him up and bent his legs, his back, his arms, and granted his wish.