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Fiction
Cat’s Eye



She didn’t always have trouble remembering. Or maybe she did. So many things confused her, like the passage of time, the minutes scattering away like marbles, rolling under the sofa. They were too far out of reach for her to get to, and too numerous to count, so after a while, she stopped trying. Did they even matter anyway? The memories were like marbles too, round and beautiful and oh, so hard. She’d hold them in her hand, roll them in her palm and gaze into their depths. But like time, they’d eventually roll away.

“Mother?”

She looked up at the sound. The woman, what was her name again? Another marble, lost. She realized her hand was still out, palm up, her fingers moving over empty space. “Good Morning.” It was a safe response. Was it morning? She should have said “Hello” instead.

“What were you doing?” The woman asked her. Her face was familiar.

“Remembering,” she answered. A simple enough answer, and yet, not. “Marbles. I was remembering marbles.”

“Ah. How interesting.”

She hated when they did that. When they acted like they understood. How could they when she herself didn’t? The woman walked towards her, smiling. A flash, a reflection, light against the curve of a shiny silver steely. A little girl with the same smile. The woman with the child’s smile sat down and took her hand, the one that held the marbles.

“What do you remember?”

She could still feel it in her hand, enclosed by two sets of warm fingers to keep it safe. What was it? A turtle? An Aggie? No, not those. A cats-eye, clear, yet obscured, common, yet uncommonly beautiful. Each one different. No two the same. Susanne.

“Susanne.” She smiled at her daughter, while holding her hand fast to keep the marble from slipping away. “I remember that I liked to play for keeps.”



I love the compression, the superb editing, in this piece -- no extraneous words or descriptions. It makes for a powerful vignette. My lungs ached after reading it. Well done! Thanks.
I'm at a loss for words, really. So simple. So powerful. Perfect symbols.
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