So here it is! Our first into the quiet fiction submission! And it’s a beauty! Please read this flash fiction piece submitted by Danielle Calleja and leave her some juicy comments. But first, who is Danielle Calleja?
“Danielle is a female human who enjoys round-house-kicks, purple things, eating olives and also happens to be a hard-core word-nerd. The Italians say “say it like you eat it” and Danielle takes that advice literally and, consequently, words have made her very rotund indeed (figuratively speaking). When not eating olives, or words, Danielle attempts to teach the children how to speak, read, write, spell and have manners – sometimes with some success. Danielle is a yummy mummy.”
Your body is a landscape for me to explore. I like being in nature and from your very pores sprout eucalypt and a multitude of many coloured soils from sandstone to terra rosa. The hempen ropes that grew from your head harvested but their biotraces linger on your scalp. I had to weave a rope from my hair once to pull myself out of a hole. I know you did the same. We walked the same path for a while, separately but with the same feet – high arches like the Colosseum you said – I smiled, goblin feet you said – I disagreed – goblins are cantankerous and don’t dance – and our feet have done some dancing, boy and there is more yet to do!
The bird on my palm discovers the covercrop on your chest, abundant, hippity hop it grazes in it happily, burying itself in the clover which grows on the dips and rises of you. I breathe it in and it is sweet. Who knows what seeds are under that dermis ready for you to fertilize? You pluck at yourself meditatively, lip thrust out, eyes far away, a grooming ritual, the look of a farmer intuiting his next move. You bite your lip when you make love to me. You bite your lip and narrow your eyes and dance under me. You have a bird too. Your cockatoo eyes lock intensely on me – front on and from the side. Behind the irises are flashes of sorrow and boyish mischief. Iris is my favourite flower. I bought some for myself.
Temples are grey. Temples you have visited, ancient prayer embedded in the stones – rubbed off on the temples of your stone bust – the place where you think you have no need of prayer, I smile at the paradox. I call out to God, thinking him hiding or asleep, knowing that to be foolish, faithless. You no longer talk or listen. Science man. I’m with your dad on this one, but I don’t wish to irritate you or convert you, to see the growl on your brow.
Words are my soil and the seeds are all around. Choosing the right ones takes practice and I have gagged myself with sweet foods for so long, tied my hands with vines and bound my feet in clay. I will grow a wild garden and dance in it. I want to take you there for a visit when I have pulled out all the weeds and nurtured all the new shoots. You can tell me the Latin names for them all and I will say “I know”. And I will not wear shoes and we can dance to the tunes played joyfully by your computer. And you will not lose your breath and your chameleon face will grow old and young by turns. And I will give my lioness roar from the top of a Norfolk Pine and my beautiful girl’s legs will stretch to meet me on my perch. And she will say ‘aquamarine’ with delight when we gaze upon St Paul’s bay at the painted boats with the Eyes of Osiris looking back at us. And my wordsmith baby and I will walk cobblestoned alleyways and dance in fairy rings and we will find magic near and far, hand in hand amongst cousins and strangers. And I will not be afraid. And I will be a wonder woman. And I will make my own ever after happy. And I will write the story in technicolour. And it will be good.
© Danielle Calleja 2008
Please submit your poetry, flash fiction, or other literary ramblings for the July Submission, which is now open.