Emerald Bolts Grace Curtis A Magazine for Flash Fiction

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Running Light 

Because we had finished reading David Copperfield aloud long ago. Because our journals were snug in water proof wrapping and the mainsail lay in a heap on deck, not yet furled. Because we had weathered the alternating four-hour watches in heavy mixed seas. Because anything that could have sustained us had long since been washed away from the now dried scuffers in the cockpit. Because finally the Ginny flapped aimlessly after days of anxious blowing. 
     I went aft to a spot I had gone to many times before; to where the rough aquamarine paint had been worn shiny white and smooth by my bare feet. I stood with my heels off the stern. The teak bar dug into the balls of my feet. I laced my hands around the aft mast stay and leaned back over the moving sea. I hung there a while, surveying Narooma, surveying the nearly indeterminable horizon, an envelope of blue above and below, the water so clear you could make out starfish thirty feet down.  Feeling my weight pull on my arms, I leaned further out, and for a moment I thought about how little it would take to let go and stay in this place forever.



My name is Ester and I'm the Prima Ballerina of the Wilson County Ballet Society in one of those elongated Midwestern states. As the Prima Ballerina, I try to be a good example to the other four ballerinas.
     As you know, our constant spinning turns the excessive sugary sweetness of our spittle into cotton candy, even more so when we graduate to toe shoes. We simply have to spit the cotton candy onto the ground.
     Recently the mayor of our town asked if I could talk to the ballerinas about the excessive cotton-candy spewing.
     He said, "No one wants to look down and see little fluffy balls of cotton candy everywhere!"
     Some folks had complained at a town council meeting, saying they had seen little dots of cotton candy around gas pumps, outside building entrances and on sidewalks. Some had even stepped on the little globs and had had quite a queasy feeling about it.
     I said, "We shouldn't have to stop spitting our cotton candy on the ground. It is our right."
     He sympathized with me, but asked me to talk to the girls, which I agreed to do. This is not going to go over well.


- Grace Curtis (USA)

Grace Curtis lives in Waynesville, Ohio,
works for the Antioch Review and writes about poetry at  www.n2poetry.com. Her chapbook, The Surly Bonds of Earth, was the 2010 winner of the Lettre Sauvage poetry chapbook  contest. She has had work published in The Baltimore Review, Scythe Literary Journal, The Chaffin Journal, Waccamaw Literary Journal, Red River Review, among others.

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 Copyright © Emerald Bolts Magazine, 2013
The front page image is copyright © by Anthony Kitterick, 2012