Joachim Frank (contributor to The Conium Review Online Compendium) has new work in several different publications. His “Principles of Physics in Williamsburg” appears in StepAway Magazine; “My Inseparable Twin,” appears in Star82 Review; “In Situ Art” was also published in StepAway Magazine; “The Interview” appears in Offcourse; and “A Hard Winter’s Tale” was published by Microfiction Monday. Find more about Joachim’s work at franxfiction.com.
- I’m writing this in a state of paralysis, sitting on a plastic chair that threatens to make scraping noises on the tiled floor every time I make a move. I have settled in a posture of minimal pain from the muscle spasms in my back, which I acquired by moving a large flower pot from a place A to a place B on my back porch back home. Three backs causing one big problem.
- I have closed all windows, to protect my family from the blaring music coming from the gardener’s shed. This man has been busy since early morning watering the plants, dragging a green garden hose into every corner of this geometric garden. He is the secret behind the astonishingly lush appearance of the garden in the middle of summer.
- Cicadas are starting their shrill songs outside, then fall silent as if in despair. The fridge starts humming, then stops with a “plop” sound. For the moment, all chickens and dogs are quiet.
- The roosters started crowing early in the morning when it was still pitch-black outside. Each crowing woke up the dogs. Of these, one is shrill and bad-tempered.
- Now, from my new observation point in the kitchen, I also find out that the shuffling sounds I have been hearing all morning comes from the gardener dragging his sandals on the floor.
- A dolphin-shaped beam of light, three feet long, has crept into the kitchen. By the time it reaches the table it has transformed into a fat exclamation mark. I watch as the dot approaches, then tangentially touches, then crosses the crevice between two adjacent tiles.
- Again the shuffling sound outside.
- A truck passes by on the empty road.
- The dolphin-exclamation mark has grown into a large protuberance that inches toward me. It now has the shape of the letter T.
- The radio carries on with the agitated voice of an announcer, perhaps the early morning news. I cannot figure out what time it is since all watches are hidden at places I cannot get to.
- This leaves me with the observation of the now-gigantic letter T, which is about to cross my feet. It does document celestial time, in a way, and with the knowledge of the precise geometry of this [handwriting unreadable] and, given proper tools of triangulation, I would be able to gauge hours, minutes, seconds.
Image Credit: © Marina / Dollar Photo Club