I love this short, evocative, and elusive story by Sparkler jahamette. She gets across so much information with so few words, and she uses tactile details—orange peel, black, wool—that make her scenes spring to life.
I was six years old in a tiny coat and my eyes were glinting. 'Snowflakes' you said to me. 'Your eyes are like snowflakes.'
It is hard to imagine that today, thirty years later on the sidewalk, rolling soggy cigarette butts around with my heel. I turn my head back against the cold. Winter was your favorite.
'Because it is lovely and still and there is nothing quite as beautiful as morning glory while it waits for spring.'
There was orange peel that day. I could smell it on your fingernails. You said you had a feeling there would be a decent snow that year. Through two missing front teeth I said, 'I hope so, Seedo,' even though I knew you said that all the time.
I smile, trying to remember what you looked like before you got glasses and a double chin and thin, white hair. I can't. Behind me, the sheikh recites long, profound sylables from the quran and I shudder because I know this is not how you would have wanted it at all.
'I hate the color black,' you told me one day as we picked unripe apples in grandma's worn out basket.
I am kind of angry now because you never really told me what you liked instead, and how am I supposed to know now that all that's left is a room full of weeping women and a sheikh and your old wool jacket? You know, I thought at least someone would have the decency to make sure you had your old wool jacket on down there. Everyone knows it was your favorite and I'm sure Allah won't care what you're wearing in your grave.
'Allah is your friend,' you told me. But when I said that to my teacher she made me sit time-out and I decided I wouldn't take your word again.
I think I need to forget everything you've ever said because you're not here to help me gnaw through the barb-wire riddles anymore, or to suggest a book, or to tell me when to smile. I'm not sure what you want from me but all I know is it hasn't snowed this winter and the morning glory doesn't want spring anymore.
Based on "Winter," by Tori Amos
Here is a story rich enough to require interpretation. What do you think is going on in "Winter," Sparklers?
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Topics: musical fiction contest