BY AMANDA ENGLAND
And so the memory fragments: in one story, the blonde haired heroine triumphs, bravely chasing away the castle-wrecking monster. In the other, the sullen youngest child makes piteous lost-kitten sounds, scrubbing away tears with sandy paws while the older brother squashes a pile of sand. I carefully wrap in crisp linen cloth these two children, opposing splinters of memory, taking care not to prick a finger on the jagged edges. I place each package, brilliantly white, into a rusty drawer of memories and close it. And slowly, slowly, I learn to feign forgetfulness when I hear the heavy words, “do you remember?”
A Story of Endings
This story does not end in weeping. The lovers were not torn asunder by the jealous brother; neither died tragically before the wedding. Although they make it through the story unscathed, they do not ride into the sunset on a white horse. In this story, the villain is not punished: not by law, not by the hero bent on revenge, not by divine or cosmic justice. There is no last battle, no swan song, no moving soliloquy that proclaims the meaning of life and live. There is, simply, life, where happy endings are neither easy nor frowned upon, where blood and loss are followed by happiness and love with no formula, no planning, no design.
Staying Together For the Sex
That first look drew me in, until we were possessed by sparks that flew when our fingers brushed, and we become a stretched rubberband, snapping back each time I wandered too far. Now I know can’t flourish in your soil, but I remain in your mud, tied down by hungry roots, and in a dark room punctuated with echoes of flickering streetlights, we crash together again and then lay quiet, in wonder that I survived intact.
Amanda England is a writer and a college student majoring in English. She has had work published most recently in The Orange Room Review, The Legendary, The New Plains Review, The Foundling Review, and Heavy Hands Ink. While not in class, she serves on The Hedge Apple reading committee and moderates a peer critique group. Read more about Amanda and her work at http://lazywritersguidetoprocrastination.blogspot.com.