• Phantasm

    Hand of god

    I’ve often idly wondered what would happen if a gigantic hand  reached down out of the clouds above Seattle and pulled the Space Needle up from its roots. Sometimes when we’re standing overlooking I-5 and Lake Union below, Queen Anne across the lake spread out like a tawdry wench, I think about giant hands. “There would be mass chaos,” my soulmate says. “Anarchy. Screaming. Martial law.” I can’t really imagine the aftermath of a giant hand reaching down out of the clouds. I think of it as a mystical thing. Magic. Like the boom-boom-boom sound I heard from my front yard when I was 3, convinced there was a giant…

  • Six

    Pillowcase

    I should have known it was over when I began marking the sheets.  My side and his side.  Sleep never came on a pillowcase impregnated with his odor; I could feel his essence creeping into my pores, into my psyche, turning me into him in some awful alchemy.  Forgetting whose pillowcase was whose after laundering, I’d lay awake all night trying not to breathe him into me, swearing to find a way out, hating myself for my oversensitivity. After the third year you could see how his mothball smell had crystallized into a dark smear on the pillowcase.  When I left, I let him keep the sheets.

  • Phantasm

    Blind

    Hot sand crunched underfoot. Hotfoot shrieky tiptoes onto cool blankets and beach towels. Warm salty water, buoyant waves. Somewhere there’s a fire, a smoky-warm cloud wafting across the sand. Maybe the lottery wasn’t real, wasn’t going to happen, wasn’t going to take its tithing tenth in just over an hour. The war machine waited, waited with hungry mouth and tail, waited for its food, waited just off shore while the food played at being unconcerned, unnoticing, festive beachgoers playing and sunning at the seaside. Mothers slathered sunscreen onto reddening shoulders. Kids dug sandy trowels deeper into cool wet holes. Fathers dug quarters out of pockets for sweet cold treats.

  • Phantasm

    Blue balloon

    Some things are fleeting. Her voice was ragged from the lack of oxygen. Her thoughts flew, rising until they too thinned like the wisps of cloud above her. The crowd in the square far below dwindled into dots of color. The moving dots arranged and rearranged, tiny puzzles pixelating. Pointillism, she thought, and arranged the dots again to suit her. Now they were a giraffe. Now a house with comforting smoke rising from its brick chimney. Now a giant mouth reaching towards her. She shuddered and rose higher, looking now over the cathedral’s roof. Below, the dots shifted again and a cry rose from the crowd, a thin piercing wail…