in which witness is borne: birds, politics, fiction and critical art theory

An Occasional Series

Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Winter Story Series Part 1 (part 2 is now up. Read it.. I make no apology for the sudden shift in content. It is winter. Stories are needed.

by Mariya Strauss

the Girl kicks a piece of asphalt and it skitters a long way down the alley. the garage doors and fences lining the alley blot out the dim light from the setting sun and cast one blended shadow over the pavement where she walks.

Earlier she had eaten a pear in the kitchen and gone upstairs to practice her trumpet. Its bell vibrated to her touch, cold and dry against the blue crushed velvet interior of its case. She puffed her cheeks out methodically, puckering and wetting her lips to limber them up. The Girl spoke softly to herself. "I gotta learn this piece, I gotta learn it." She assembled the instrument quickly, looking over the scattered sheets of music which lay on her dresser, and selected two particular sheets which together made up the short Haydn trumpet solo. She lifted the trumpet, her lips and tongue furiously working in anticipation, and her shoulders relaxed...
In the alley, she carelessly meanders from side to side, weaving exaggeratedly, drunkenly between the garages. The weaving takes on its own bored rhythm. Sometimes to spice it up a little she kicks a rock, watching its path as it reacts to each tiny jolt from the uneven pavement. Darker and darker grow the shadows of the houses and wooden fences. It seems to her that no cars have passed through for a long time. She stops at one fence, an old wooden back gate with vines of morning glory (although the flowers aren't blooming now, it isn't morning, but she fingers them idly anyway) poking through, and feeble dandelions sprouting from beneath. As she looks,something glossy and papery glints at her from under the fence.
5:36 PM :: ::
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