07 July 2006


He drew the line. Fat, purple, solid. He drew the line and showed it to her. “This is the line.”
She looked at the line. It was ugly. It didn’t match the furniture. When people would come over, things would be awkward. They would look at the line. ‘What’s with the line?’ they would ask. “Oh, its nothing.” She would say. She would serve more wine.
Sometimes, when certain people would visit, she would be embarrassed by the line. She would try to cover it up with carpet pieces and fancy lighting. But it would peek out. In the corner. The rug would slip. The light would glare. “Oh that old thing? Don’t we all have a line or two in our lives?” she would laugh.
“Did you put the rug on the line?” he asked one day. He was sweeping the line. He liked to take good care of the line, keep it shiny. “Why would I cover up the line?” she asked, too quickly. “Good,” he said, “because this line is very important to me. And you. I made this line for you. For us.”
“I… love the line…” she said.
The line started to distract her. She stopped writing. She stopped speaking. The line was getting bigger. The line took up a whole floor now. It was getting impossible to get around the line. Get past the line. She had to yell even to speak to people who were across the line. It got to be too much effort.
“I can’t take the line anymore” she told him one day. “The line is in the way of my life. Why does it have to be there? I can’t handle it any longer.” He was scrubbing the line. She could tell he was exhausted too, always worried about the line, watching the line, thinking about the line.
“I love the line” he said.
“You love the line more than you love me.” She said. And she crossed the line.


jessica said...

Very cool piece. How something so seemingly "simple" and "normal" to one person turns into such an ugly and unnecessary obsession, literally and figuratively. God forbid "we" cross the line!!

B Boutwell said...

I like it when you write flash fiction. I think that is your strongest form of writing. I could be wrong, though. ;)

Bebe said...

we all create imaginary boundries
in our lives, waiting to be crossed.

and i also feel the most comfotable with my flash, and the most satisfied.

katy said...

ditto to brian

the powerful element here is the wiggle room. i can understand the story two ways:
1) there's a big bright ugly yellow duct tape line running through an otherwise normal and well decorated appartment
of 2) the line is the look, the thought, the touch, or the thought. that idea between them, that secret, that causes so much tention and anxiety that she feels the need to scream.

or it's both.