short story
force of an avalanche llama farm
i feed seagulls
our feet feel smashed
fantasy art






We walk until the bones in our feet feel smashed. Then we walk some more.

The fields are hot, the roads cracked and dusty. I stop at the side of the road - my hands dig gingerly around a patch of blackberries. The berry smooth and shiny, the fruit sour and refreshing. This is the first food and water we have indulged in since the morning, when we gorged on bread from Alfonse.

We are walking towards Duncan's wooden boat shop, at last. We near Raphael's dream. We don't have enough gas in the car to drive, so we bring our water bottles and keys and follow the folded, crumpled map he had photocopied from a book in the Duncan library that morning.

"Why don't we hitch a ride, Raphael?" I am exhausted, it has been 2 hours of straight walking, and I don't know when the end is near.

"Even if we had gas, I wouldn't want you to drive me. It wouldn't be a pilgrimage if we drove."

I pee behind one of the bigger thorny patches that shelter us from passing vehicles. I like having my wash closet be the great outdoors. I feel free, natural. I am frustrated I wasn't born a man - they have it easier. My bladder is smaller - I need to pee more frequently. I can so easily get caught with my pants down, a full moon, so to speak, whereas that only happens once a day, at most, with a man. And with people all around us - people, people everywhere, and not a penny to my name - I am frustrated and scared that I will get caught.

A crow flies overhead. Lands on the distant telephone wire.

"I want to start walking again. Quit fooling around over here."

My mistake was to feed Raphael most of the berries I had plucked. My maternal instincts always betrayed my own survival, although they brought about a certain peace and contentment.

Raphael walks off, a steady stride, ahead of me. I pull up my pants and high tail after him.

I was always getting distracted. Not around the people we'd meet - it was then that I would almost shut off completely, because I could sense the impending bullshit and the auras that were not whole, but when I was alone with him. Later I realize this is codependence. But I am happy in my feeling of one-ness, of symbiosis, with my mate, and I am able to let my guard down and let a diffuse awareness take over me.

© 1990 - 2003 Katharina Woodworth

fantasy art