Jesse Jarnow

the island, no. 11

(Short fiction in even shorter increments.)

The Island: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11

I do not know where the island went after it left our harbor. The next time I knew of its presence was many years later. I was sitting in my father’s old desk chair. It was a momentary vision — Caribbean waters, crescent moon, stars — and then the house’s radiators were singing again.

That island?” Elizabeth asked. We were in bed. My parents’ old bed, in my parents’ old room, on the third floor. The hot water rushed through the pipes below us. “You’re just daydreaming about a nice island,” she told me, stroking my chest. “I think about nice islands all the time.”

It took some months for David Mallis’s wound to fall away to its resultant scar. I watched the process with silent fascination. That is what I thought of when Elizabeth told me to think of nice islands. David Mallis’s scar was crescent shaped, the same moon I saw over the island.

He lives in Florida now, David Mallis does. Our town is no place for him. Even the hotel, once a proud center of commerce, now sits almost decrepit. The wallpaper peels, and still Jimmy Cavins, the day manager, demands payment a week in advance. It is likely Florida, where David Mallis lives, though it might be Atlanta. Even though he never felt the island, I will find him. Enough time has passed. I have some time yet, and I will have a boat. [/END]

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