Archive for the ‘Not so true’ Category


Body text

April 30, 2017

One day, she awoke to find the ghosts of letters printed across every part of her skin. It was as if she’d gone to bed wrapped in newsprint, stories overlapping stories, headlines and body text.

I’ve been reading too much, she said over breakfast. I think I need a break from the news.

It’ll be here when you get back, he said, peering over the folded-down corner of the local paper.

Outside, she rubbed lemon juice into her flesh, and reclined in a deck chair, waiting for the sun to bleach away the words that haunted her.


After the end

April 29, 2017

So many hundreds of days from now, she found herself floating on a raft she made by strapping together things taken from her house before the water consumed it. Somewhere below her lay Florida. Above her, the sky had turned to haze.

She always thought she would give up at the end, let go when the government and her community and family were gone.

But she still had some drinking water and a compass, and she knew, somewhere north, America still rose above the waves. She clasped one fist overtop her paddle, and began to row.


Revolutionary thoughts

April 27, 2017

She walked along the top of the high wall, her arms out to balance her.

This isn’t easy, she said, and he nodded, following her path from road’s lower vantage point. But the view is much better.

They had left for their walk without phones, without anything to track their location. No one knew where they were.

I had forgotten what it felt like to know only one person was listening, she said.

He nodded, already worried she’d discover he was passing information through shadowy channels, telling them all her revolutionary thoughts.



April 24, 2017

They summoned productivity experts, asked them how to achieve their goals. We have 100 days, they said. We have promised big things.

One expert suggested one day a week with no meetings, and another suggested picking one big thing to accomplish each day before breakfast. Another recommended a clear, calm mind, and they all had a good laugh around the conference table.

What are your priorities? one expert asked, and a senior staff member slid across a contract, sold like any campaign half-truth.

These are specific, measurable and time-bound, the expert said. But they certainly aren’t achievable or realistic.


No good choices

April 23, 2017

She had dreamed of learning to play the flute, of writing a sonata, or maybe even a symphony. But then the coughing began, and every day, her lungs grow more raw, and she knew she needed medical care, but it would cost more than she had saved.

She waited, and felt her pants slip around her hips, felt the gap between her skin and the billowy shirts that had once been fitted.

Why didn’t you come sooner? said the doctor with the saddest eyes.

There are no good choices, she said. I lost them all along the way.


Something rotten

April 21, 2017

When she was a child, spring brought warm breezes and dry days, blooming flowers and opportunities to play outside without fear. Then, she grew up and learned everything is not always what it seems.

It has grown cold in America, she said. Summer is coming, but I don’t feel any of the warmth I remember.

Perhaps things had been as good as they appeared, or perhaps she just grew up and had more information at her disposal. Regardless, now the perfume of flowers had given way to the stench of something rotten, and the weather was all wrong.


The guarantee

April 18, 2017

When they met, she saw him as a guarantee—no matter what happened to her later, she would always be taken care of. Even though so little love passed between them, she would never be scared of poverty again.

She read all the things people said about her. She winced at the half-truths, the blatant lies, the guesses that hit far too close to home. She knew he would never be the kind of man to whisper to her in the dark. She didn’t need someone on the Internet to remind her she chose to never be an equal.