Saturday, August 15, 2009

Flash Fiction Carnival--Light

This was written in a flurry (what's up with this font?). It's a flash fiction piece, 200 words, it's super flash! The theme was light.


Left over right, a length of beryl-colored cotton tucked and straightened until the hem falls straight across my feet. The design is simple, butterflies painted in pastel pink and plum flittering across the sky, the sea? A wide obi of darker blue is wrapped around and around my waist, pulled until it pinches, twisted into a bow.

Hair brushed up, pinned and tied. Behind one ear I fasten a spray of fine golden wires, a tiny bell on each end. When I move my head, the nearly weightless balls bounce inside their golden orbs, a tinkling chorus cooling the August heat.

I’m ready.

The gravel crunches and gives beneath my wooden geta. I walk slowly to keep my balance. Tiny steps. And soon, just as the sun is setting, I find a patch of short grass where the sand of the shore ends, before the pine trees begin.

The inky sky bursts into color, a fan of red and gold and green. The explosion comes a moment later. It echoes hard in my stomach and I flinch.

He takes my hand.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Yesterday morning I woke up yelling "Earthquake!" And I was right. We were bouncing around on the futons to a 6.5 magnitude quake, the epicenter a little off our coast. It was around 5:00 am.

Here's a record of some of the damage around the house. My lead crystal vase, the one I filled with rocks (yeah, rocks) fell off the bar. Didn't break though. Still picking up them pointy, nearly invisible rocks though.

Luckily I'm a light sleeper and woke up with the initial shaking. I was sitting when the serious shaking began and my tower of books hit my pillow. Who knows, I might have been knocked unconscious by a Salman Rushdie tome. But then again if I'm gonna go...

Okay, I know, it doesn't look that bad.

The next picture is going to break your heart though. It's one of the bigger casualties that morning.

I give you Cha. J says he was jumping around the room like a frog and when J tried to grab him to calm him down he just, well, continued to jump around. After a much needed bowel emptying we put him in the living room with us where he immediately decided to hide in the safest place in the house -- the cats' litter box. Dogs instinctively know the safest place in the house.

Don't worry no beagles were unnecessarily harmed or mentally anguished in the making of this blog post. After I took the picture I picked him up, dusted him off, and cuddled him for awhile. That is until the thunder started and he really freaked out. Back to the cat box. (We also had a typhoon coming right at us yesterday. Fortunately, it found its mercy and veered off.)

The next picture is a little confusing. When I went to take a photo of J's room I felt compelled to announce in a loud voice, "Did we just have an earthquake or a tornado?" Much of that is what I call Pre-Earthquake Damage.

Around the city tiles fell, cement fences tumbled and grave stones shifted, but one of the biggest tragedies would probably be this. The Sapporo Beer Factory down the road lost more than 5,000 bottles of beer (and tea). (Edit to add: I learned later...just tea. Wew!)

But, truth be told, I'm depressed. The news has been saying this has nothing to do with the ginormous Tokai Earthquake that is due to hit here any day now. You know, the one that has hit on schedule every 100 years since the beginning of time. That one, they say, will be 180-200 times worse than this morning (an 8 on a scale that only goes to 7). Oh, and I was in a daze as they flashed fancy graphics of firestorms on the TV, but I could have sworn they said something about 10 million people dying in the thing.

Which leaves me wondering if I need to buy a bigger cat box...