Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Entry #54

Chasing The Sun
by Sarah Hina


There is a cathedral I return to.

Not the slim province of angels and resurrections, where long-lashed girls bow their heads in time to the salty scriptures. I’m talking about the long nave of recollection, where you and I spent a haloed youth wandering, and briefly touching, with fevers of words for trails, a brown hand my constant guide. Where a loamy scent led us past dead leaves and deader logs, into the quiet fix of the forest, the sacred altar. You touched my hair there, once.

This promise of the mind I retain like a yellowing photograph, smudged about its edges. Chewed on by time’s chemical mouth, yet preserved in this tinny memory, this (almost) blackness.

Yet now you come. The stained glass unloosening, shards reassembling. You told me on the phone that marriage is a dead end, the final purgatory to sense and sensibility. Your wife believes in miracles. You only believed in me, you said, and laughed to cover. You were never embarrassed, before.

I would like to believe in you. I would like for you to touch my hair again. But faith is a frothy, youthful affair, and you are as elusive to me now as that white god they sing to on Sundays. I love that old photograph, you see. I love pressing its terrible stillness against my sepia-stained heart. I cannot risk its loss. You will not see me at the train station tomorrow.

My hair, darling Richard, is gone gray.

21 comments:

Josh said...

Very poignant, like a love letter. That last line is particularly bittersweet.

Bernita said...

Excellent extended metaphor and insight.
Well done.

takoda said...

One of the more beautifully written stories.

Hoodie said...

Spectacular!!

Jaye Wells said...

This was a deliciously bittersweet morsel. You have a such a gift for description and metaphor.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Beautifully written, such rich description and full of poignance. Brilliantly done.

Victor J. Baniss said...

beautifully written. I liked the line about faith especially.

JLB said...

The emotions in this piece are potent!

RachaelfromNJ said...

Loved it. Beautiful.

SF Johnston said...

Wow...this drew me in and spoke to me in a way few other stories -- flash or not -- ever have. Fantastic!

Sarah Hina said...

Thank you for the comments, everyone. I've been amazed by the quality of work so far, and can't wait to read more in the coming days.

SzélsőFa said...

I like the careful selection of words.

SF Johnston said...

Sarah,

I'm posting again, because every time I read this piece I am stunned by the beauty of your words and the force they carry.

You are unbelievably talented. Where can I read more of your writing?

Anonymous said...

Takoda here again. I want to read more of your writing too. Simply, beautiful.

Sarah Hina said...

Wow, thanks, guys. I have only written novels, so this was my first foray into flash fiction. It was such a treat to do, though, and I look forward to writing more.

Many of you who commented earned my vote today. Fabulous work by all!

VBM Jr said...

How did I miss this one? A gem among the baubles.

Victor J. Banis said...

Sarah,

congrats on your win. I loved your story, by the way. Keep at it, you have a great voice.

Victor J. Banis said...

Okay, one more time, congratulatins, and keep writing

Ann Ostrander, #37 said...

I wanted to offer up my congratulations as well. Many of the lines were quite beautiful. Have you published novels?

Either way, congrats on your win!

jason evans said...

I think I know why she didn't go. Perhaps more than the last line, it's this: "You were never embarrassed, before." A full & complex emotion skillfully done.

High marks!

Congratulations on the Honorable Mention! Well deserved.

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks again, everyone. I really am touched by all these comments.

Ann, I haven't published yet. I have a novel out on submission right now, so I have my fingers crossed. Congrats to you, too--your piece was gut-wrenching and so authentic.

Jason, you're right about that line. She couldn't stand the thought that he had changed. Thank you so much for saying that, and for the honorable mention. This contest was so much fun, and I look forward to the next one!