Writing & Pictures

FICTION: "Block Island Ferry"

FICTION: "Block Island Ferry"

Ellen looked up. She was surrounded by a sea of empty seats. She’d noticed the noise of the cleaning machine had stopped. But hadn’t thought beyond that. Now she glanced at the floor. It was so shiny she had to look away. A man wearing a khaki shirt and the same color pants stood in front of her, holding the handles of his waxing machine. Ellen noticed that his moustache was gray, but not his hair. She took a breath, then looked into his eyes. They seemed blank, and safe.

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Aunt Cat's Picture

Aunt Cat's Picture

You asked about what happened, so I tried to remember. Mama never talked about it, not to me at least. What’s here is what I pieced together, through overheard words, voices raised and lowered, looks—the shards stuck in a brain corner, wanting to merge, waiting for a stray sunbeam to strike the remnants from, say, pieces of broken glass, and suddenly, there’s a pattern.

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Minox

Minox

The guy in the picture came back into my life like Marley’s ghost. Of course I knew that face. It was the lead picture in my exhibition in that winter of ’95. When I walked into the gallery, there he was, sitting by the window, an older guy in a trench coat looking like the wind would blow him into the Hudson. He stared, then motioned me to come over. I was surprised he knew who I was.

He answered my question without my asking: “I saw you back then. I got a good memory,” he said. Thirty years ago I was a kid.

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