Lacy’s grip on the polished brass pole held her like a bronco rider beyond her mandatory eight seconds. The calliope music didn’t help. Neither did the rotational momentum nor the pumping motion—up down, up down—like she needed her bucket filled during the Dust Bowl, and her well had run plum dry.
“Lacy dear, it’s a ride, honey. You won’t fall off. And if you do…” (What kind of psychotic rationalization is that?) “I’ll be here to catch you.”
“She’s this tall,” Tooq held his brown hand up to his chin, “and she laughs like a goat when you tickle her. And… and she’s all I have left.”
When the bomb detonated beneath the fruit seller’s stand during Tuesday morning’s market, Tooq and his sister had been two stalls down, hunkered in a corner of the wall of the now defunct tannery, nibbling cast-off laffa bread. The concussion had blown the palm-thatch roofs of both the spice and the filigree brass stands over top of the children. Tooq, a boy of ten, and Fenta, a dazzling eyed child of seven, screamed for each other but their hearing had temporarily vaporized with the explosion and though they tried, they could not link hands, touch each other’s fingers.
• Orbital Odyssey
• Small Change
• Final Grades
Each of these deserves another swing with the writer’s bat. But, well, NOT.
The King’s cook thrashed about the kitchen seeking inspiration, a sign, a clue of any kind that might, by the end of the day, afford him his life. An emissary from a distant province had arrived the evening past. Notice had filtered down that the King required a fitting banquet.
The oaken backdoor’s hinges creaked and Fain the meat monger peaked through, his long mottled beard waving with the breeze.
“Shut da fookin’ door, won’cha? What are ya, a comely neighbor come to beg a cup?” Simon crossed his thick arms and cocked a hip. Before Fain could respond he continued, “How fresh?”