Two Flash CNF From A.M. Rosellihttps://i0.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Screened-1920x2560-1.jpg?fit=1200%2C1600&ssl=112001600A.M. RoselliA.M. Rosellihttps://i0.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/amroselli.png?fit=96%2C96&ssl=1
Silent Sliders Open After the Rain in a Field of Green
Driving along a road polluted by traffic signs, I pass long stretches
of glorious farmland. The rich fields, I imagine, still moist from
the previous night’s rain. Every morning, I grow more envious
of the workers working in that decadent black soil. Beneath early
sunlight, a long reach of beams spreads the leaves and ripens the
berries. I wonder if she noticed last night’s rain while soaring on
her pineapple bed. The mechanical bed she pilots when visiting
wonderful places other than where she is. Last night, I heard the
silvery rain strumming in soft beats like those once recognizable
in melodies before it all became loud and agitated. She was never
loud like me—her daughter. The booming one whose voice might
drown out the beautiful rain. And here, I’ve arrived at her place.
I inhale the workers palms working in the fields green and lush.
Leaves, fruits and vegetables on the vine all glistening. I want to
weave a basket of berries with juice and dew, hear the rhythmic
pitter-patter of sweet rain. Feel drops on my face, while I gleefully
twirl in the mud. I want—the place opens to me, its silent sliding
doors without music. An unnatural cold for this warm time of year
crawls up my shirt. It always does. As a child who read the headlines
every morning, I long ago believed there was no fate worse than
death; I feared my mother’s passing much more than my own.
I have come to learn, late-in-life, that there is something worse.
I dread it all the more. Here, beyond the silent gliding doors and
unnatural cold, the worries collect for those who have outlived
death; eyes cast downward as they wait for more blessed rain.
They pray to hear hymnals beyond this cold world. Outside,
the early sun rises. The workers working the fields pick succulent
fruits and glistening vegetables hanging from the vine.
Wisp of a Wing
Most insects have two sets of wings, houseflies have only one.
House-bound flies will spend their abbreviated lives trying to
escape. As a child, I learned they can live up to twenty-eight days,
their early doom often sealed between latex and glass. Though the
fly’s short lifespan once upset me, my first significant experience
with death was in the third grade. I think of this event more than I
probably should; her small silent pearl casket rolling down the aisle
Eileen and leukemia were the names she was baptized with. I can
still recall a pair of snow-blue eyes fading to blanched water. Angel
hair melting away strand by strand along with school visits until they
ceased altogether. I was not fortunate enough to know Eileen. At my
imaginary tea parties, she adored my pink eye patch. I told her the
patch didn’t bother me half as much as the awful rash between my
fingers; the hours spent itching my hands across shag carpets till my
fingernails sometimes fell off.
In third grade we all wore plaid uniforms and navy knee-socks. I
was the only student in school with a pink eye patch and clear plastic
gloves. Eileen would’ve understood my medical accessories had we
ever had the chance to play. The eye patch didn’t repair my
astigmatism. The clear gloves and thick cream only made my hands
itch more. Leukemia took Eileen’s tea parties, her silky hair, then
her abbreviated life.
It has been almost fifty years since a bizarre rash and a misshapen
cornea granted me a small challenge in the form of an absurd pink
eye patch and obnoxious plastic gloves. We learned in Assumption
School that every challenge is a gift that helps us grow into good
and decent God-fearing folk. I like to believe Eileen never knew
fear. I like to believe she was good and decent. As for the flies, they
return every season. I open my studio screens and watch them