The sign stood bright and shining blue off the newly-tolled highway. ‘Welcome to Delaware’. Behind it, an old grey road veined with cheap tar in the cracks hid in plain sight behind grasses and vines. It turned into the woods and was lost to sight.
He walked along the Champs-Elysees, with his sunglasses on, looking for a place to piss. Ahead of him, a woman was wearing a flowery bandanna around her head, and she detached herself from a group of girls. Stepping in front of the man, she held a crumpled piece of paper and was smiling very sweetly.
It was a petition and maybe it was a lie. The man had already been asked three times to sign similar documents and then give money. A tour guide had stated it was definitely a lie; there was no such organization that helped the homeless. It was just a scheme. Also, a giant chicken tried to pose for a picture and a teenager randomly found a gold ring on the ground, gave it to the man, and then asked for change.
Maybe the girl was homeless or maybe she was onto something. All the entreaties of the day, except for perhaps the chicken, had probably been lies.
The woman’s eyes tried to penetrate the man’s sunglasses and she opened her mouth to speak. It sounded like an ‘S’. The man put up his hand and stepped around her before she could utter the rest of whatever word she had been about to say. The group of girls all had their own crumpled papers, which all fluttered in the wind with no clipboards.
He tried to cross the street as impartially as he had crossed the woman. He still had to piss. The sound of the ‘S’ however, continued to echo in his mind. It was an ‘S’ that no doubt, would have turned into a lie. The ‘S’ by itself though, was as human, as pure and true as it was possible to be. It was a search. For words? For meaning? For money? It was as real and true as his search for a place to piss.
When he did find a place to relieve himself, leaning against a sign pole, he felt heavier, instead of lighter.
Recent article I wrote on fall veggie gardening 🙂 with special emphasis on fall planting (there is much you can still grow), to haerfest the karpos before winter!
I wrote the story, ‘Streetlight Genies’ this past spring in Portland, Oregon, which really does provide so many places to write, to soak in soothing waters of inspiration, and plenty of coffee and beer. Thank you Portland. This story is appearing in Antipodean SF, a wonderful Australian magazine that,
“aims to seek out and publish short-short (aka ‘flash’) stories that somehow flip the mind of the reader into another realm — somewhere diametrically opposed to a “normal” point of view. In a nutshell, AntipodeanSF wants to bring the ‘other’ briefly, and sometimes horribly, into view (as most good SF does)”
Check it out, and tell me what you think! http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10063/20140908-0000/www.antisf.com.au/the-stories/streetlight-genies.html