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Fiction: P-R

Fiction of the Day

Maly, Maly, Maly

By Anthony Veasna So

Always they find us inappropriate, but today especially so. Here we are with nowhere to go and nothing to do, sitting in a rusty pickup truck, the one leaking oil, the one with the busted transmission that sounds like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Here we are with the engine running for the AC, the doors wide open for our bare legs to spill out. Because this, right here, to survive the heat, this is all we have.

Daogiri

By Victor Perera

“Daogiri,” said Abdullah, their chauffeur-guide, gesturing freely, “is an impregnable fortress. Absolutely. The sides are so steep and smooth that an ant could not climb them —nor even a snake.”

From a mile’s distance, where Stanley Bendana, rounding out a two-year stint in the Peace Corps with a tour of South India, and Mrs. Majumdar had stopped on the roadside for a panoramic view, the citadel had looked impressive enough: a cone of gray rock with a scarped waist that rose sheer from the flat, brown Deccan plateau.

 

The Locust Keeper

By Graham Petrie

To them he was simply “the old man” and they had no other name for him: he was so ancient that they had forgotten what he had once been called and knew nothing of his origins; there was some debate even as to whether he truly belonged to the tribe. Yet when they took me out to meet him, they showed him to me with pride: he was theirs now and was something to exhibit to visitors; he cost virtually nothing to keep in food and shelter and could easily be carried with them once the waterhole dried up and they had to move on. Besides, he looked after their locusts.

An Unspoken

By Ashleigh Bryant Phillips

Hal Parker runs out to his wife’s hydrangea bushes. He’s trying to scare away the neighbor’s black Lab, Major. Hal claps his hands in front of him and shouts, but Major’s already peeing on the bush. It seems to Hal that lately the dog just won’t stay in his pen. Hal has watched him dig holes under it and even seen him climb over it once or twice.

Hal looks next door. His neighbor Corey Lane’s Camaro is in the yard. He decides to tell Corey about his dog. As he knocks on the door and waits, Hal looks over the front of the house and thinks he should have talked to Corey about Major weeks ago. He also thinks the bricks need to be washed and the shutters need to be repainted. He knocks again and hears the floorboards creak on the other side of the door. Major is back at the hydrangeas.