Midsummer Noon

Magpie sings abstractly in the still grey gum,
The pallid leaves thrust against a beating azure sky.
I sit here and wonder why.
Sun sapping and sipping, all around steam.
One hundred insects around me fly.
I sit here and wonder why.
Waves wash with heated air the dusty ground,
  Flowers bloom momentarily and die.
  I sit here and wonder why.
  Invisible creatures hum and twit and flit,
  But the end of hell is not even close to nigh,
 And all that's left is to wonder, why?

The Midsummer, the Mutt and Mia

 I looked out across the classroom,  the fans were pushing against the solid  sauna air of  the afternoon, My students faces were red and puffy, their heavy eyes languished. My voice droned with a tired hum, even I was bored of listening to it and I just wished I could shut the hell up andl sit in silence while waiting for afternoon to end. 

 Just then a most unexpected thing happened,  a ragged impertinent puppy pushed open the door and pounced into the room.  He darted to the left. He dashed to right. He ran around in a circle. His tongue twitched and trembled on his hairy little face with breathless anticipation.

 The students jumped up and rushed to the dog, their hands thrust forward to touch and caress his wiry fur. He kept circling with cyclonic fury, trying desperately to be all things to all children.  I could have yelled, told the children to sit, but instead I sat back and let them enjoy the dog for a moment. I watched them smile with glee and delight, listened to them giggle when the mutt would lick their hand, laugh with them as they tried to wipe dog spit over each other.

 The children wondered where he came from, what his name was, what its gender was -it was clearly and most obviously, a boy. Just then I heard a sweet and soft sound, it was little Mia speaking.

Mia was a child who came to us as  a Bosnian refugee. She had seen enough horror to last a life time. She had seen the darkness of men's souls especially when they think in war there are no witnesses to their deeds. Mia knew what people would do, just to have one more moment on a wretched plain of human despair. How humans breath fear and  uncontrollably tremble at the thought of death. Finally, how in the end,, in a certain golden moment- they surrender to it.

 Mia knew too much of the world. Mia knew too little of being a child. She had been in my class for a month but beside perfunctory statements she had remained as silent as a cracked little stone. It is always difficult for me when my students have had more life experience then I have had.

Every night I went home and I tried to think of a way to help Mia. I tried to introduce her to peers but they pulled away from her statue silences. I tried to talk to her myself but I looked into her hollow brown eyes and I knew there was no connection there.

 I had taught about Bosnian history and we had explored Bosnian art but still nothing. When I tried to talk to her family I found their English was even more rudimentary. In the end, without an answer and only pure intentions left, I decided to sit on the problem- for now. I felt horribly inadequate in the face of a foe whose dimensions and nature could only be described as mysterious.

Mia asked me if she could pat the dog. I said that she could and then it happened. Mia giggled. The puppy, with some kind of animal sense, ignored the other children and he licked Mia's face. She did not flinch or gasp. She just smiled and reached out her thin pale arms to grasp him around the neck.  The puppy stilled and Mia buried her face in his fur. It was a perfect minute. The puppy then broke from her arms.

He dashed out of the room and bolted down the wooden stairs. Mia ran after him. I ran after Mia. The class ran after me. The dog kept sprinting into the noon.  I could hear students in other rooms move to their windows and their teachers screech at them. The school came to life as they watched the epic parody of a chase that was laid before them.   I could feel how silly I looked but I did not know how to halt the show.

The dog then darted to the right. The road opened up before him with the promise of dreams unfulfilled and the puppy went for it.  As his paws hit the bitumen a car smashed him, pulverised him. Only a fur covered scarlet mass was left. 

 The dog died

  Mia broke.

 I cried.

Please click Home to check out some more great features of this site!


All Stories on this blog are of course fiction and characters and events bear no relation to either myself or others living or dead.
    Press here to stumble!

      Contact Me!




    November 2011


    Short Story


    November 2011