Cami Park

Heat lightning

In Art, Household, Prose on October 25, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I started writing from the point of view of a small, fragile child but then at some point I found myself describing her neighbors, this grotesquely healthy and fortunate family who lived across the street. I found the true voice for the story in this family’s youngest daughter who was attracted to Wren even as her family, particularly the father, feared her. Both attitudes, the attraction and the fear, are very strange and so, I think, very real. —Kathy Fish

Kazimir Malevich

Kazimir Malevich

excerpt from Wren
Kathy Fish

One evening our mother joined in the games instead of making supper. Father grabbed her and held her tight around her waist and she struggled to free herself. My brothers and I yanked on Father’s arms and legs, screeching and laughing, as the fireflies lifted out of the grass around our ankles.

Mother stopped struggling and Father loosened his grip and we all turned to see Wren and her parents on their nightly walk. Mother gathered us all around her, hushing us. We were panting and sweaty and unable to keep still.

Father picked up the forgotten football and smacked it against his palm. Mr. Chu nodded and Father nodded back. Wren’s mother glanced at our mother. Some maternal understanding, like heat lightning, flashed in the space between them. I couldn’t see Wren’s eyes, but it seemed she was looking at me. I wanted to cross the street and touch her white cheek. I wanted to tell her my name.

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