Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Essential Thing, Forgotten

For want of a better format, here is an excerpt of my short-short story, "The Essential Thing, Forgotten," published in Glimmer Train magazine in Spring 2000.

Celia came from Chile with her mother and father, and they stayed for such a short time that they never completely unpacked. She was slim and dark and an only child, with curly bangs that crowded her eyes. We were six. Her house, where we played after school every day, was a labyrinth of dark hallways stacked high with boxes. The complicated sun porch, with its sliding doors that locked in three places, was where Celia's mother usually found us when it was time to have our snack. One day we were given thick slices of carrot cake studded with gold raisins. This was my first encounter with a vegetable dessert. I found the recipe utterly exotic. I decided that carrot cake was something South American and unutterably exotic. I decided that carrot cake was something South  American and not to be spoken of carelessly. So when my mother came for me that evening and asked whether I'd had a snack, I shook my head solemnly, trapped in the guilty rapture of the unbeliever returned from Mecca....


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