14 January 2010

"The Missing Piece" #Fridayflash

(Entry #158 in the "Silhouette" contest over at The Clarity of Night, which is now closed, but hey reader's choice awards are open.)

They said that the first infection was a fluke, that the avian flu couldn't be spread to humans. We never believed them. We wore our masks and treated each doorknob as if it were radioactive glowing until the newscast came across the tube and relieved our fears. The war is over, they said. The economy's gone north, they said. And there is an epidemic of avian flu―in Japan.

Japan is far from here, full of imagination: pagodas and kimonos, koto players with painted faces, and Mahjong.

A special piece, painted with the Northern Wind, gusted to an antiquities market in Eastern New York City out for everyone to touch and admire.

A little man stops to admire the piece―it's been missing from his set for so very long. If he brings this home, he says to himself, his life will certainly change.

(I sincerely apologize for using an old piece, but we have illness in the house so little time for the mom to stop and dream.)

23 comments:

jason evans said...

Hopping over from Twitter.

I didn't know you're shadowsinstone! Cool. :)

Marisa Birns said...

I read "The Missing Piece" over at The Clarity of Night and admired it.

Second reading? Yep. Still enjoy the writing!

Laura Eno said...

Yes, life will change...
Perfect, ominous ending. Classic Carrie. Where did I put my mask?

Draco Torre said...

Interesting. I feel the need to study this, open it up, see how it works.

theothersideofdeanna said...

Carrie, do you realize how ominous that note about having illness in the house sounds directly after this story? That gave me chills. I do hope the wee one is better soon, (I didn't even know you're a mom).
Chilling story that makes us sit up and take notice. Your work is just outstanding.

The Frog Queen said...

I agree, thourghly loved reading it...both times :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful talent.

Cheers!

Michael Solender said...

loved it there, still do.

Anton Gully said...

Really liked this when I first read it.

Hope everyone feels better soon.

Cascade Lily said...

You never need to apologise for pulling something from the archives, especially when it's as finely crafted as your writing always is.

This piece was great - said so much, inferred more and left many questions unanswered - as any good microflash must.

~Tim said...

This was so good I'm getting up right now to go wash my hands. Just in case.

Christian Bell said...

Clever and creepy piece--well done! I didn't really have to know anything about Mahjong to understand what was happening. Through context, I understood what I needed to know.

(I duplicated the above over at Clarity of Night.)

G.P. Ching said...

Loved this. You have such a strong voice in your writing. I hope everyone at your place feels better soon because I do very much enjoy your original fiction! :)

arcadianpoet said...

Eerie and well crafted. I look forward to reading more once you can get back to enjoying life and writing.

♥ Ash

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Love the ending! Ominous = good, in my book, as I'm sure you know :-)

Linda said...

An item will bring change... shiver. Second readings perfectly fine, especially since I missed this on the first :^)

Hope everyone feels better soon...

Peace, Linda

CJ Hodges MacFarlane said...

A second reading for many - a first for me. Hauntingly beautiful.

Michelle said...

That was my first read of this piece - you are such a talented writer. Loved it.

Carrie said...

Okay weird formatting issue at the end of this piece. Oy. Thanks so very much for the warm commentary, you guys are my critique group. Never be scared to say "You stink Carrie." In writing of course. I'm a girl. and girls never stink, correct? Cheers to all.

dan powell said...

I liked the distant narrative voice here. There's a lot going on here in such a short space. Good luck in the competition.

Maria Jensen said...

This was very interesting to read! You have a great talent!

Maria

Tony Noland said...

I loved the way the illness is held at such a distance, that it's something those people over there have to worry about. But not us. It couldn't happen here....

Helen Ginger said...

Okay, creepy feelings crawling over body...good story.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Erin Cole said...

Hi Carrie,
I really enjoyed this piece—nothing is ever really that far away. Nice mood, great writing. Good luck!