I remember the smell of wet snow on a blinding morning. Squinting through glare and steam. Battleship twigs wobble in a frozen puddle. The neighbor's bell-bottoms dark blue to the knees. She sank in a soft mountain of snow, but extracted herself with the confident strength of the Bionic Woman.

The crows were flying silhouettes, Japanese ink on a rice paper landscape. The country was preparing for our spectacle. There would be battleships in the harbor, fireworks from the torch, old songs that would not die.

But on this day, in the insulation of a winter morning, we weren't thinking about history. We were playing giants, extensions of nature, voices of snowmen. Wet branches akimbo, signposts pointing to the warming spires of Manhattan and the exhaling chill of the Atlantic.

We squinted through the glare.

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fancy dancing over 8 years ago

Nice story! I really would like to see this from a child's perspective who still retains some adult consciousness, along the lines of the narrator Lenny in Cracking India by Sidhwa.

I also like how you started off with short, declarative sentences, which built up the tension in a rather fast manner, which was then released with the very last line, making a full circle, encouraging readers to go back to the first line and read it all over again.

My favorite thing, though, is how this piece breeches poetry and prose. It's on a fine line, and I think it can go either way.

Awesome job!

mroshaugh over 8 years ago

Thanks! I find it difficult extracting the more honest-sounding essences from the past, so I like to keep the sentences brief. I find my longer sentences sound watered down. I'm glad this came off as a success.

Galen over 8 years ago

Hot damn. Your words carry such a glow of ... melancholy. I felt both patriotism and a sick fatalism. These lines especially stung: "We were playing giants, extensions of nature, voices of snowmen. Wet branches akimbo, signposts pointing to the warming spires of Manhattan and the exhaling chill of the Atlantic."

Oh it's good.

mroshaugh (joined almost 9 years ago)
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Veteran of the 90s zine revolution.
Spreading myself thin over blogs, Twitter, FB, etc.
Favorite authors include David Markson, Lydia Davis, Robertson Davies, Donald Barthelme and Richard Brautigan.

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fiction memoir

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