northwoods

My thanks to Crack the Spine and editor Kerri Farrell Foley for publishing my flash fiction piece, “northwoods” (Issue 206, January 4, 2017). Here’s the piece, and a link to read more.

Scraping, you’re up on a ladder in the northwoods working on this cabin, thoughts scattering. You’ve already put in hours on the job but there’s more, more, more, to quote a disco hit, do you remember Andrea True Connection? Things go through the mind when you’re a little bit shaky up on that ladder, sixty some years old, you, not the ladder.

Your northwoods wife, Andrea, comes around the side of the house, she’s been scraping too, though she’s on the ground, because no way, she says, I’m not going up there, and she asks if you’d like some tea, we have some Mei Ji. You say, I’m feeling lightheaded.

Down on the ground, you realize you’ve been airborne too long, ten, twelve feet, inhaling, paint chips like snow on eyebrows, beard, hands, arms. Looking radioactive.

Chinese tea scrapes up against northwoods air and tastes fine, like Andrea’s earlobe.

Back up the ladder, and thoughts tend toward death, scraping will do that, and there is a moment, you lean back and your knees remind you of a Psalmist’s words—“my shadow declinith”—and you’re like, is this it?

More tea? calls Andrea, and you know there will be more, more, more, and you whistle, how do you like it? how do you like it?

And you know the answer.

To read the magazine, go here.

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