I forgot that this is still living online! The lovely lit mag C4, published one of my flash fiction pieces both online and in print a few years ago. You can read it here or below!
Last night an ambulance wailed outside my window. I ran to his side, wrapped my arms around his hood, squeezed him close. I told him he was safe. I said words I could not prove, words that could build a house but not a home. I clasped his rearview mirror between my fingers and led him through my front door, removing his tires, setting him on the floor. His bumper was too big for the futon.
The lady in the ambulance’s belly cried through his walls. She yelled, MY HEART IS BROKEN, and I said, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE CUT YOUR HAIR. I pried open his jaws, birthed the woman onto solid ground, head first, screaming. In the process, her arms ripped from their sockets but I don’t think she noticed. With purple nail polish I painted a dotted line down her chest. Instead of marching ants, they were fairy footprints because she was afraid of insects. I cracked her ribs along the guide. I unclogged her arteries with a plunger. I sewed her ripped valves with shoelaces and whiskers. I knelt on the floor, hands dripping blood, her organs exposed to air like a lizard belly-up to the sun. THERE’S NO WARMTH HERE, I told her. It was shut off months ago.
The ambulance watched, wails growing louder and louder. I smacked his taillights with my bloody hand to shut him up. I smacked him so hard the plasma separated from each blood cell, staining his skin with sticky blotches, more yellow than red. YOU DON’T KNOW, he said. YOU CAN’T FEEL THIS, he said. YOU CAN FIX THINGS, he said. I made him go wash his windshield in the bathroom, dim his flashing lights. YOU’RE CAUSING A SCENE, I said.CLOSE YOUR MOUTH, I said. PRETEND I’M YOUR MOTHER, I said.
Last night, you wailed outside my window. I ran to your side, wrapped my arms around your neck, squeezed you close. I told you that you were safe. Your heart was rattling in your bones, its motor stuttering, idling. I begged you to turn the key and step out of the broken vehicle your body created; I begged you to see the grace that lined my open palms. I said words I could not prove, words that could build a house but not a home. Words that could cover, but could not fix.