Category Archives: Weekly Feature

Feature of the Week – 3

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By Jerry Vilhotti

 

Their third born, Christina would carry for three days dead. Dead. Dead; afraid they would be turned away before reaching their destination of Sao Paulo where two miles outside the large city work awaited them on a coffee plantation …

“And what are you carrying in your arms, young lady?””My child,” she said in halting Portuguese.

“So you are the Italians who will make our Brazil a great country like Rome?” the second official said disdainfully; afraid for all their women.

“Sim, if your wealthy do not kill off all the dreamers,” Micalino said trying to control his tongue but even he did not know the baby was dead.

“Why is it bundled up so?” the first official said compassionately.

“He has the chills and his mother is keeping him warm,” Micalino said in a tone of voice that suggested it was none of their business.

The mother had known Ghiberto was dying while on the ship crossing the Atlantic for he had vomited three whole days but she was afraid to tell anyone; thinking they might be quarantined and then be refused port entry. She had tried to wash his fever away but it persisted and when they boarded the train, she looked inside the blanket and attempted to shake him gently to wakefulness or at least to make his eyes close into a soft sleep. She closed his eyelids with one finger and then draped the blanket over his face and began to rock him – not stopping until they nearly reached their cabin on the two-mile walk and then told her husband: “The baby is dead.” Only then did she allow herself to cry and continued as Micalino dug up the earth as he cursed the sky, the stars, Columbus for discovering the “new” world and all the future dictators who would fling their banners of Reich in the faces of the masses leading them to an abyss to a grubby greedy One World Order drinking the blood of innocence and all those with stains on their souls perpetuating misery and dug up the ground that would become his son’s bed of rest under the many blossoms of the beautiful quince trees.

Feature of the Week – 2

This week’s featured poem is by a poet who wishes to remain anonymous. All the copyrights remain with the poet.

Global Warming

A hush falls over the earth.
The yard is summer-afternoon parched.
I want something to change – I want each
spec of the earth to soak in the rain and the coquettes
to keep blooming the purple and red carnations.
I stress how much I want this.
I want to accept, like the camel who
plods in the arid desert, endless days
servile and patient. I want to
be the proud inhabitant who senses
when to acquiesce so as to persevere
But, I become impatient
I shuffle and watch the clouds move away
I curse the slow warming of the earth and fear that
the distant glaciers are melting away

Feature of the Week – 1

Welcome to the first feature of the week series.  For the very first feature, I chose the flash fiction piece by Lisa Reily.

 
Like a Bird

He was a fanatic. Always the daredevil, the jock, the sports star. She could hardly remember why she ever liked him. They had met in high school, and twenty years later they were still married.

She felt his body pressed against her from behind. Why the hell did he need her to do this? She was well and truly over the role of subservient wife. Yet here she was again, indulging her husband’s desires and jumping out of another ridiculous plane.

She’d lost count of how many times they had done this together. He thought it was a bonding experience. But to her, it was another example of the monotony of married life.

She looked out at the wide world around her, the beautiful green hills and mountains. She longed to be part of it, her own two feet on the ground. Instead, she was here with him, plummeting to earth through the blue. She didn’t even like the colour anymore. It just reminded her of the years she had spent living his dreams.

Most of her friends had the same problem with their husbands. Some of her friends laughed and fantasized about leaving, but no one ever did.

She remembered their first jump. She did not want to do it. He held her tight and she had felt safe in his arms. How consumed she was by the feeling of falling. Attached to him now, his closeness just stifled her.

Falling rapidly towards the earth, her cheeks flapped with the force. Her goggles pressed hard onto her face. She knew they would leave marks for hours on her delicate skin. Enough was enough. This time, she was leaving him.

As the world came closer, she unlocked the harness that attached her body to his, and let go. She cupped her hands and spread her arms out in the air like a bird, and flew away from him.

She looked back at her husband, his face pale with shock, his body spread-eagled against the sky. She watched as his parachute exploded its colour without her.

She was free.

***

Lisa Reily can be found here.