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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Two Stories - Adam Jeffries Schwartz

Next to Me.

Two old Egyptian women sit next to you. The one closer looks like Golda Meir, only not as sinewy. The other, Miss Apple Harvest 1938, now just the core.

We have a routine—we three. You watch a movie and they interrupt: Three times an hour Miss Meir announces, "Toilet!" and hauls herself down the aisle.

Then Miss Apple Core pleads, "Time!"

But which time does she want? Does she want the time in Singapore, which is already gone? Does she want the time in Melbourne, which hasn't happened yet?

Maybe she wants something else entirely. Maybe she really wants to ask, "How much time do I have left?"

You show her your watch; this seems to please her, it's hard to read a smile without teeth.

In Bed.

There was an earthquake last night. At four AM you felt a short, hard jolt. It lasted twenty, maybe thirty seconds. You made it part of your dream.
The second jolt left you groggy, but you willed it away.
After the third blast you looked at the bunk below. The German boy was trying out this sex thing. His girlfriend wasn't correcting him; so, this could take a while— a whole life maybe.

Adam Jeffries Schwartz--a two time nominee for the 2005 Pushcart Prize-- is a writer and a traveller. He has stories, essays & poems in: Descant, Grimm, Szirine, Jacaranda & Bleach Magazines. Online he pops up at many sites, including: Mosaic Minds, Melange, Ghoti (Fish), Litbits, Kaliedowhirl, The Big Ugly Review & Caprice.

Schlieren photograph of T-38 shock waves at Mach 1.1, 13,000 feet (1993) courtesy of Nasa.