The Missing Piece
by Carrie Clevenger
They said that the first infection was a fluke, that the avian flu couldn't be spread to humans. We believed them. We wore our masks and treated each doorknob as if it were radioactive glowing until the newscast came across the tube and relieved our fears. The war is over, they said. The economy's gone north, they said. And there is an epidemic of avian flu―in Japan.
Japan is far from here, full of imagination: pagodas and kimonos, koto players with painted faces, and Mahjong.
A special piece, painted with the Northern Wind, gusted to an antiquities market in Eastern New York City, on a stand sold by a man considered weird by some, eclectic by others, and still otherwise known as the Devil by those of holy mind and spirit, out for everyone to touch and admire.
A little man stops to admire the piece―it's been missing from his set for so very long. If he brings this home, he says to himself, his life will certainly change.
(Carrie Clevenger, (also known as Carrie Cleaver) worships Maynard and dreams of cephalopods on trains and other oddities in Austin, Texas. She doesn’t have to write the next great novel, but it’d be nice to at least leave a bloody print on her way down. The hub of her evil network can be found at http://shadowsinstone.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter as @shadowsinstone.)