Best of the Net Nomination: Fiction

THE BLACK GAZEBO

By Kirby Wright

The gazebo fireplace is overwhelmed with butts, several stained red. There’s a single stub. A birch-handled spatula rests on a crowning brick above the scattered grates from ancient barbecues, when the sun worked its magic on appetites. The stink of tobacco ash humans the day.

A scrap of paper with faded letters blows in. It’s Martin & Servena’s shopping list in purple woman-script, with everything from baguettes to Brie Noir to Champagne. Where are these lovers who ate and drank under this black roof? I screw on a new face remembering the girl that I lost, the first one to ever touch me.

© 2018 by Priestess & Hierophant Press.  All rights reserved.

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FRENCH CLASS, Punahou High School

Holly-BIG

THE CLASS WAS SPLIT in half, with two rows of chairs facing each other. Miss Davies, a heavyset teacher in a tailored blue muumuu, rambled on in Parisian behind a podium fronting the chalkboard. Speaking English was interdit. Students were to keep their eyes on Miss Davies.

The boy gazed across the room at the girl opposite him, the one with the aqua miniskirt. Her blonde hair spilled past her shoulders. Sometimes she tucked the stray strands behind her ears to hold them in place. She wore a necklace of irregular puka shells that resembled jagged teeth. Her beauty mark reminded him of Marilyn Monroe. She stretched her brown legs into the aisle between rows, as if tempting him to touch her. Her hair was streaked green in places. He knew that was from the Punahou pool, where she practiced synchronized swimming. He smelled chlorine whenever she passed. The boy had felt like a creature obsessed, sneaking past the gym and squinting through the pool’s cyclone fence. He’d watched her lift a leg high out of the water, arch the foot, and stick her toes in the sun.

(to be continued)