[The Listserve] secret map

seth
02/01/2018
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In a secret life I write short stories. Here's an excerpt of one I like.
I'd love to hear how reading this went for you!

The excerpt:

Eika slept with a sturdy snore that cranked snot in and out of her nostrils. She slept sprawled in the dark-orange chair in her father's office. Her dreams felt big and wide in her head. She grew to be a violent wizard, shooting solid bricks from her fingers to replace the heads of nonbelievers.

In real life she lifted her left hand up into the air and twirled it around as she slept. In dream life she was creating a tornado.

The door to the office was wide open. Fullerton's head was sideways, his eyes and forehead poking around the right side of the door frame.

Fullerton made his eyes big, the size that secrets get when they hurt.

On top of Eika's bag sat something that Fullerton wanted to steal: a map.
The map was a circle, with a circular hole cut out of the middle. It showed 3 trails, all of which curved around in the visible area of the map, and disappeared in the center hole.

The hole surrounded the lake near their town. Eika had found this map near the dam that holds the lake in.

The map stayed in Eika's notebook, which stayed in her backpack, which only left her body for eating and sleeping, and her backpack always stayed on her back or at her feet.

Fullerton almost fucked up when he whispered, ""she fucked up.""

Fullerton moved as slowly as he could. Fullerton practices this everyday. Slow as he can, everyday, he walks in a loop around his house until Eika comes over to ask if he can play.

This time, he barely moved an inch a minute, and he's walking in Eika's direction.

His steps were sticky on the tile floor near her chair, Eika spilled soda before she fell asleep.

To reduce the noise of his shoes ripping up the molecules of the drying soda, he took them off and walked on the side of his socked feet.

It took ten minutes before Fullerton was close enough to take the map.

His shaking hands moved toward her bag, toward the map, and he pinched the edge of the map.

He lifted upwards slowly, softly, and felt a squeal fermenting in his throat. He could barely breathe, his tongue got stuck to the dry roof of his mouth.

The map was in his hands.

The map was in his hands and he couldn't believe it and he had to get out of there and fast.

He walked backwards slightly faster than before. Only slightly.

His shoulder hit the door frame, then the back of his head, and it hurt so bad he accidentally let a groan fall out of his throat.

Eika stirred, and with eyes shut she made a confused moaning sound. Her dreaming had gone narrow and constricting: she couldn't move. She watched Fullerton in a forest. She saw a tree wiggling in the wind. The tree wiggled fast, falling toward Fullerton. She tried to grab him, to pull him out of the way, but her dream muscles wouldn't move.

Fullerton stopped. He watched Eika as she grieved his dream-life death.

He held still until he was sure she was still asleep.

She held still until she was sure he was dead.

Fullerton backed out the door. He kept backing down the hall until he was 15 feet from the door, then ran so hard he thought he would break.

seth
seattle
tdatw.listserve@gmail.com

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