Monday, June 10, 2013


Taken during a hike last year near Komatsu. 
Following is a complete departure from what I usually write here. I never, ever write fiction. I dream about it, but it's not something I think is really for me. I'm not the kind of person who walks around with stories in her head that need to be told. I'm the kind of person that walks around looking at people and thinking their story needs to be told, which is slightly different.

And this is different again. I heard about this FlashMob thing, read the posting, and then didn't think about it again. I have lots of friends who do this, but not me. (See above.) Then on my run this morning this story popped into my head. I muttered it to myself while I sprinted (a relative terms) most of the way home so I could write it down. My new mantra is always carry a notebook and pen. You just never know.

Tomorrow, back to the usual stuff.

This was probably bad. How long had she been lying here? She could feel the grass under her. Usually she only spread her toes on it, but never had she been supine. She'd imagined it, of course, but never had the chance. "Lucky me," she thought.

She didn't need to open her eyes to know the last storm clouds scudded away chased by sun and a now friendly breeze. She could feel it on her skin, hear the softer wind in the nearby trees.

She remembered a crack, a gust of wind unlike any she'd felt before. The driving, driving rain. The tire swing a pendulum gone mad. She hated storms. Always had. As a child she'd dreaded the gray that turned to slate, tumbled and roiled. Sometimes it went green, nothing like the shimmery leaves of a nearby poplar. She watched big trees bend and toss with bravado. She tried thinking of wind and rain as friends, character builders that watered the earth, pollinated flowers, blah, blah. Fifty-eight years later she still hated them.

Tentatively, she felt along her limbs. Some pain, a twist. The greater pain seemed to be in her middle. "It's internal," she thought.

She could hear sounds from the house. She recalled seeing all the lights go out at once. Flash. Crack. Black.

"OK, open your eyes," she said. "You've got to know." Lids crusty with dried rain, dirt and a few bugs lifted. There, above her, against the blue sky, stood her other half. A long rip down the center matching her pain. The white and gold wood catching the light. "Beautiful," she thought as she heard the slam of the back door, a squirrel leaping among her branches up there.


Van Waffle said...

It's like a riddle. I like that kind of prose. Beautiful!

Chris said...

So glad you undertook this little departure from your usual nonfiction. And yes, definitely don't leave the house without a notebook!

Susmita said...

Nice :-)

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks, Chris and Susmita! I really enjoyed this little adventure in writing. I'm carrying the notebook and pen now at all times just in case! Who knows if it will happen again? Although, I have to say this foray has impacted my writing in unexpected ways. And I'm glad for it.

Michelle Elvy said...

Goodness, Joan -- go on more of those jogs and keep writing stories, along with your other stuff! Great to see your flash of excellence -- neat story! Very good to meet you in the mob, too.

Helen Moat: Stories in the Peak said...

Thank you for your comment, Joan. I agree with the comments that you need to be writing.
Beautiful piece, quite sensuous.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks, Helen and Michelle! I'll keep at it. We'll see if more stories come.

Anonymous said...

Oh! That was really quite beautiful, insightful, even magical in a way, and did I mention, surprising? I'd come back to read your fiction any day. Don't stop now!
-taree Belardes, Flashmob,USA