Friday, April 9, 2010

The World in Miniature: The Hole

by Susan Quinn

The Hole

The spaceship crashed into the mega lizard and spewed tiny multicolored detritus across the carpet. Sounds of mayhem splashed around the wreckage as tiny fingers collected the pieces. A high pitched whisper pulled my flashed look down, but it was only the demise of another plastic villain.

Three boys piled on top of each other, grappling and grinning as they wrestled for the prized magic wand. A squeal escaped them. Would a sister scowl at them from across the room? Or clamber with small but determined hands and feet to the top and decry herself, Victor! But there was no pink flash in the pile or haughty bouncing curls, only boyish voices and happy grunts.

We curled up for the last book of the day, the end of a stream of brightly colored tales of trucks and dragons. His slender fingers and unpolished nails held fast to the page, lest I turn it too quickly. Short bristly hair brushed my arm. A vision of tendrils floated up to tickle my nose.

The bustle drained from the day and filled the night with quiet forms in car shaped beds. I ran my finger along the endless circle dangling from my chain, stubbled with three small heads and reaching arms. Complete. Full. And encircling an empty space that held whispers of girlish dreams.


Matthew Rush said...

Thanks for sharing Ink and Susan, nice short.

For some reason the first paragraph had me thinking of playing with legos as a child. Then the third and fourth of reading to my kids, or being read to as a kid.

I'm going to have to read it again now to see if that's really what is was about but I just wanted to say thanks for sharing, I enjoyed this!

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JustineDell said...

I was totally thinking about legos too in that first paragraph. And how me, my brother, and sister used to fight over the moving parts (to make cars and

Thanks for sharing!


Mira said...

Loved the idea of how it started like a huge, important Sci Fi adventure and then softened into a loving home. Loved the intermittent flashes of adventure -'a vision of tendrils.' This interweaves reality with the fantasies and its very sweet at the heart of it. :)

For some reason, I really liked the line: "Short bristly hair brushed my arm."

Not sure what the title meant, though, but maybe that's the point. :)

Flash fiction is fun! :)

Susan Quinn said...

Ink - Thanks so much for the chance to post and share! And I get to go first - kinda squeeing inside about that.

Matthew & Justine - right you are, about the legos. My house is a lego minefield, just waiting for tender feet. My boys fight over the "best" parts, a fluid definition which applies to whichever wheel or hexagonal piece is most in demand at the moment.

Mira - I love hearing what a piece means to readers, so thank you for sharing your thoughts! It's always amazing to me how readers can find things I never knew were there, or when they zing right in on just what I was trying to convey.

The title is a bit vague, so bad on me. But it refers to the empty space in the final line.

Thanks for the great comments!

Mira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Quinn said...

Mira - Aaahh! I'm glad you read it a second time, too. But still bad on me - I should be able to make it clear on the FIRST read. :) But thanks for taking the time to read it again. For the record, NOT an autobiographical piece. :)

Mira said...

Susan - Oh! I re-read it - sorry - it's about the absence of a daughter...? High pitched whisper - I see now. I misunderstood the word 'tendrils,' and my misunderstanding went from there.


I see you laid it out pretty clearly in the second paragraph.

I mis-read it. Re-reading it from the different perspective - it's a sweet-sad piece.


Mira said...

Oh - Susan - I deleted it so I could emphasize what I liked about it, and not lead to any misunderstanding... Lol. Poor Bryan, we're filling this thread.

No, I think I zeroed in on the third paragraph for some reason. I'd check and see if other people do that before making any changes, if that's what you're suggesting. Other people may read it differently.

I like your style. There's a subtleness and connection of visual/emotion to it. I like the 'haughty bouncing curls.' Um, assuming I'm reading it correctly this time. :)

Thanks for sharing your piece!

Ink said...

Hey, comment away. It makes me look more popular. :)

Susan Quinn said...

In the interests of making Bryan look popular ... :)

@Mira Any way you read it is the "right" way - I'm all for seeing my work from different perspectives. There's a fine line between subtlety and obscurity, and I want to make sure I end up on the right side!

Thanks for all your thoughtful comments!

Donna Hole said...

Very playful. A unique voice.


Susan Quinn said...

Thanks Donna! I try to stay on the right side of that fine line between unique and crazy. :)