Feet and Coat
9.30.2003 by , every Tuesday.
As always, please send me stories for guest columns!
He tripped. A shower of diskettes rained from his arms and clattered across the pavement.
"Crap," he said, and bent low to gather them up.
"You're always so clumsy," I pointed out. I watched him grope on the sun-baked pavement. "I mean, this is a flat surface. How did you manage it?"
He shuffled forward and grasped for a disk that slid far. "I'm not (oof) clumsy," he replied. "It's that my feet are sensitive to an alternate dimension."
"Alternate dimension?" I wiped the sweat from my forehead. The strong sun felt like hands pushing down.
"Yes," he said. He stood up. His arms were once more laden with diskettes, sun glinting off the metal bits.
"An alternate dimension."
"Yes," he said. "It's very rocky."
She sat in the dark hug of the vine-wrapped porch, watching bright cars go by in the warm night. Across the street slept the park. It was huge and beckoning, with great maples rearing up and streams glinting and strange buildings slumped here and there like sleeping bears.
She fumbled for her watch and pressed the little button that made the face glow. It was 11 pm. Too late for small young women to be out and about. Too late for small young women to play in the park.
She quirked up a wicked smile. To her left on the smooth porch floor, the big trenchcoat slumbered in a pile of fabric, ripples of velvet emanating a cool moonlight. She lifted it up and pulled it around her shoulders. The night seemed to hold its breath.
She snapped her fingers.
A large barrel-chested man stood up on the porch and promptly knocked his forehead on the overhanging wood. He cursed good-naturedly. Cars slowed to a stop for him as he crossed the street, a six-foot-seven bouncer, wrapped in black cloth. He reached up and grabbed a tree branch, and swung himself over the low fence into the park.
In the night the trees rustled companionably, and the streams muttered in their sleep. A group of lanky boys smoking up scattered as the man broke into view. He giggled.
Running through the fields was just as exhilarating as he'd imagined. Strength and stamina seemed doubled at night. When he reached the gardens he stepped carefully, and was thrilled to notice that there were some flowers that only opened at night.
When he laughed loudly, the scary man who sometimes hid behind the girls' bathroom scurried off into the bushes, scaring a family of raccoons whose eyes flashed a witchy green.
After four hours, he ambled home, tired, sweating. He threw the trenchcoat onto the porch and snapped his fingers. She sighed, and stopped dreaming. What a stupid, unprogressive dream, she thought. She dragged the coat inside.