The singer still held onto his microphone as he slumped to the stage. He felt as through a very large hand was pulling him very quickly through an ocean of green water. The crowd retreated, their faces elongating. Their cheers elongated, too, as though one corner of the cheer had been nailed to a doorway and then stretched around the world.

The world is elastic, he thought, and couldn't imagine why he hadn't noticed this before. Everything has a soft suppleness to it if you look hard enough, or perhaps if you learn not to look so closely.

Even the stage felt soft as his cheek hit the floor. There was a yielding there, and the fluid that washed out from his head pooled around him warmly.

This is a children's game, the thought. A backyard party of a game, devised by smiling parents to make us happy. It is that and nothing more. It all came back to him now. His whole life had been an hour playing life. His mother's hand reaching down now to pull him gently back so that they could run home together for dinner. His home waiting. His family there.

The cheers had sharpened to something darker. But it didn't bother him. Because soon they would remember that this is an interlude.


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mroshaugh about 10 years ago

This story just rewired my thinking. And the image of the elastic cheer is fantastic!

Qner (joined about 10 years ago)

The first story I remember writing was about a man who caught a two-headed fish. He held it in his hand, marveling at it for a while, and then he noticed that it had another hook in it's mouth. Somebody else had caught it and let it go. So he carefully removed his hook and set it free.

I don't know how old I was when I wrote that, but I'm still trying to write a better story.

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