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Archive for the ‘Short Fiction’ Category

STRANGER FROM MILLER’S RAVINE

In LIFE, Millennial Generation, Short Fiction on May 29, 2015 at 12:20 AM

The purpose for my documentation is not due to inspiration, but rather, skepticism. A conversion of doubt, wonder and dread.

     It all came together when local historical records confirmed these events took place. Also, the dates, when and where and whom, proved accurate. I realized how that night, when I heard this story, something had occurred; and, its meaning, I leave for the reader to decide.

     My decision to record and document this may lead to consequences I have no desire to experience.*

      Damn conscience, damn memory, damn story—it haunts with a relentless need to be passed on.  Even now, the reluctance to continue writing flares up. A familiar paralysis of thought slows the movement of my hand.

In memory of the people whom history and folk tales have unjustly excluded, leaving them forgotten.

In memory of those who died knowing what we do not know and hopefully, never shall experience.

     Neither do we have any concept, nor ability for comprehending, how their lives were ended, taken for no reason, except a Dark Fate. May we remember them now. And also, be wary of the cause, for the Stranger still walks among us, eager with pride.

                             *As the Author risks, the Reader also takes a chance. A subsequent vulnerability contingent with this story warrants a word of caution. Reference to these ‘possible’ consequences, if necessary, are well documented and may be found in the concluding Index. –SPH 2001

STRANGERS

CONTINUE READING 

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M’Lady Is On Her Stone Steps, Sir

In Short Fiction on June 4, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Copyright 2012 by Kimberly Cox, All Rights Reserved

Written for the lovely Katelan Foisy, to whom the author humbly offers its dedication.

Her Little Hovel In The Northwest Corner

In Short Fiction on December 16, 2011 at 6:49 PM

I used to see the morning sky, breaking at dawn over the tall buildings of Manhattan. But now that’s gone.

View from a window on the North-Face, approx. 1 year ago

Of course, the North-Face was bound to fall subject to the same fate as the South-Face. I just never expected it so soon. There, several years ago, the southern exposure’s view of 1 Penn Plaza was replaced by a 40-story building of luxury condos. But light still reflected off the buildings, making it less disturbing. I successfully paid it no mind.

Shortly afterwards, the erosion on the South-Face of the building became so severe, they sealed it off for repair. All the light was blocked by a make-shift wall of wooden flats and cheap boards. With no other windows except the Western and Northern exposures, more than half of the place was left in darkness. A little house we had rented in the mountains helped make the situation less disturbing. It was difficult, though, to pay it no mind.

Returning to the city, I looked out the window (pictured above) and down below, saw:

Foundation of new skyscraper along the North-Face (Spring, 2011)

*

I realized what this meant, as far as both the South and North exposures were concerned, and an inevitable fate of darkness. Only the western exposure remained, already compromised by the neighboring building. My spirits sank into darkness. Yet, the promise of an interim apartment in the city, raised a glimmer of hope. I clung to the prospect, eagerly searching until I found one.

After going through the application and approval process, the new home seemed secured. It took most of the Spring and Summer but I paid that no mind. For two days, the happiness and promise rejuvenated the vitality of youth; a youth, women of my age may naturally celebrate. Then, the phone call came. The call from a stranger thousands of miles away. On speaker-phone, his voice dashed the promise and hope so desperately needed.

*

For him, it was nothing.

For me, it was everything.

*

He never saw the consequences. He didn’t care to see. Without any impression of caring about what would happen, no one else seemed to mind. Nobody felt troubled. But I knew, and vehemently advocated for our cause. My pleas fell on deaf ears. Placating or humoring me, a number of reasons were put forth. I found the attempt only revealed a more appalling predicament. Not one of the explanations for executing his decision made sense. A stranger, having the power to affect our lives so dramatically, was no less than disturbing. It signaled a terrifying, infuriating, epiphany: I had unknowingly been rendered powerless by a series of signatures on a series of documents.

Who could I blame except myself, alone?

I had allowed my own person to end up in whatever awful position I now realized I was in.

Where the situation easily occurs for young women like myself, an ignorance of it sealed my fate. Naive and disillusioned, I placed an unwarranted trust in humanity. Youth afforded time and denial, but not, an understanding to fully grasp the extent of my horrible mistake.

I rallied again despite a troubled heart. “Everything happens for a reason. Mistakes may teach the lesson that must be learned,” I reasoned.

Several weeks later, the promise of a safe and healthy place to call home, came again. I met its hope with trepidation, the second time, but it still revived my soul. The first time, I had been skeptical. As before, my dubious manner received various verbal assurances, “Don’t worry.”

“Everything will work out. Everything will be fine.”

And for a second time, weeks passed searching, and I found a place (at half the budget.) Just as I was making the announcement, that same authority came from thousands of miles away.

I ought to have known better. A pernicious cruelty lies in the breast of false hope. By executing the decision a second time, I was, in many ways, executed as well. Broken, that spirit of youth perished, faster than nature’s course would have had it live.

I look back on she, whom now, seems so far away; a person alien and lost, quickly fading from an old woman’s memory. Denial has caught and digested that youth. In the time it took for the building to be raised by the North-Face, I aged twice my natural years.

The only sky I see now is from the hovel I made in the northwest corner. There I sit, day after day, waiting. The air full of toxic chemicals, dust and who-knows-what-else speed the aging and its coming to pass. I welcome it, tired of fighting and too ashamed by what is no one’s fault but my own.

The lesson?

Never trust another unless it benefits them greater than it benefits you. Otherwise, good faith in humanity will kill slowly the fool who well deserves its noose. The good guy never wins in a world devoid of moral and ethical compassion. Empathy will damn you to hell.

*

I made the mistakes but failed to learn in time. I reap what I sow and don’t care any longer for clinging to this cliff with my fingertips. I let go and fall into the void, never to be remembered. Instead, characterized as this vile, amoral creature, I am quickly forgotten and their creation, that Thing, takes my place. In the little hovel I made around the northwest corner, without a soul to fight it off, that Thing fills an empty shell.

Kinder and more humane would they be, if instead, I’d been shot or stabbed or poisoned. But it was easier, I suppose, to kill me with kindness. No accountability and all responsibility deferred, leaving their creation in the corner, silent, deaf and dumb.

The consequences, I dare not write or speak of. I understand now and pay the price, a fate worse than death. However, remember my story as we do reap what we sow. Humans are weak, cowardly and malicious in their ignorance.

*

As it was in the beginning, so shall it now and forever be….

Copyright 2011, GidgetWidget™
All Rights Reserved

Written On The New York City Subway

In Excerpts of Prose, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, poetry, Short Fiction on July 3, 2011 at 12:40 PM

The F Train runs the course of Manhattan into Brooklyn Heights.

Late one evening, on a Wednesday, she steps onto the south bound train to go home. She takes a window seat, alone at the end of the subway car. Biting her lower lip, she opens a book and begins reading. But not for long.

Distracted, she closes it and removes a pen from her purse. Using the beige paper bookmark, she begins to write.

I picked it up long after the train crossed into Brooklyn. It read:

Did you ever consider that maybe what we’ve got isn’t so bad?

Maybe what we have is more than what we’ve had.

And somehow we manage to sleep at night.

(The free flow of thought is like a magnet catching dust. And sense has a lock that’s covered over with a thin layer flaking red rust. My mind is somewhere behind.)

But what I have is so much more than what I have had.

We move,

In and out and up and down, back and forth, underneath some immovable force.

And every once in a while, we pause and stop

Step back

And realize what we’ve got:

A piece of ourselves at peace

I flipped the book mark over and the small, crips letters filled that back as well. I kept reading:

Even though it will never be enough.

Here I am

And holding to who I am

I humbly ask you

Who you are and what made you think

We could take it this far —

because

Without you I would not be me

Nor you without me, would not be you.

But I humbly ask

IF we have taken this too far

IF in this pause

I must bid you farewell

Remembering this, alone,

Until I am old and undone.

Because what we have is more than what I’ve had

To lose it unexpectedly would be horrorific.

Leave me mad.

The woman on the subway became real.

I did not even know her name.

I paused.

Copyright 2009-2011, by Kimberly Cox, All Rights Reserved

Revision from November 1, 2009

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