Fiction

Our 2014 Fiction Contest Honourable Mention.

We get to the party. We say hello to our hosts. We take off our coats. The party is crowded. We fight our way through to the kitchen. We load our plates with food. We sit in a corner. There are a lot of people. There are mathematicians and physicists ...

The astronaut on screen is crying. From the moon he has finally managed to call his daughter, only her face on the videophone shows no flare of recognition. He’s been gone so long he has become someone else to her.

Manolo called it the Everybody Laughs Scam, but as I approached the couple on the bench I found that prospect hard to imagine. The woman looked teary-eyed and the man had the strap of his camera bag wrapped three times around his fist.

The honourable mention for Room's 2012 poetry contest.

Your husband has the car for the weekend. You need a car to visit your friend in the hospital tomorrow morning and Sunday morning. The hospital is eight kilometres away. Should you rent a car, call a taxi, take two buses, or walk?

Amy places the whisker back into the mug of steamed milk and glances over at Kat next to a pile of empty teacups. She sits on the tall kitchen chopping block, sketchbook balanced on her lap. She snaps the book closed and hops off the block.

I watch Ava peel down her panties. Her ass a kicked apple: Brown. Purple. Blue. She tucks wads of newspaper inside her jeans, zips up, and smiles. “Ready.”

“Little Billy died last Sunday,” I tell my father, who’s visiting for a while during my husband’s absence.

Numbers safety-pinned to matching blue tank tops, our last name, Fraser, emblazoned beneath them, my sister and I double-check that our shoes are laced tight. Attached to these laces are black chips. These chips will be used to establish our official marathon time, which determines whether or not a runner qualifies for Boston.

Today is one of those days of sloping light that you sometimes get when the hard edge of winter cuts into spring. Where the sun doesn’t just shine, but scuds across the fields in great golden planks. It is one of those days where mothers everywhere are nagging at their kids to get out and do something. Like mine.

It’s late May when James arrives in Rose-Marie, fresh from Antigonish, where he lives now. He shows up without fanfare. Without flourish. Without so much as a phone call to let me know he’s coming. He is simply, suddenly, standing before me in the grey light of a late Monday morning.

Jack tilts back on his chair, balancing on two legs. A circle of smoke drifts up from a saucer beside him. “Need a big purple job,” he says. Kenny, your younger brother, slings a monster purple pill across the kitchen table.

The cyst behind Andy’s left knee is soft as an overripe pear, the veins and arteries blue and purple. She believes that the left side of the body is the feminine, dependent, side.

Some sixty to seventy miners, mainly married men with families, went down into the underground workings at Pioneer Mine for the first mine ‘Sit-down’ in Canada.

I journey to nameless shores to wrestle glass balloons from other women.

Do a dry run on the bus a week before you start, at the right time of day, carrying the right amount of stuff, in the stiff uncomfortable black shoes you can’t run in. If you don’t own such shoes, buy some. Don’t get paint on them.

The island, thirty-five minutes by air off the coast of Belize, is too small for anything like a runway.

There is no point in describing a man who traverses Nova Scotia on a ten-speed bike with a concertina strapped to his back, is there? Let’s just say that Randy was resourceful, which is why he answered my ad in the first place.

One of the honourable mentions in our 2006 fiction contest.

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