by Lydia Trecroce (1/25/11)
Like Pavlovian puppies they anticipated its arrival, observing the signs of its coming. Taking their cue from a rolling-down sun, children prodded balls and bicycles homeward. Mothers set dinners on tables, while the sky tucked around their roofs, vivid as an Indian blanket. Clocks and Fathers wound down. Because of what would come, children obeyed and ate their green beans.
It began as a tinkling, a fairy awakening in the distance. The heart of every boy and girl trilled, yet some found the bell’s appeal confounding their decisions. Too soon for the adults, the delicate song grew in length, strength, nearness. Fathers could not empty their pockets quickly enough. Small bare feet hit the floor running.
Out to the street the kids dashed. They formed jagged lines. They licked ready lips. One by one, the children—who’d endured much to receive this privilege—offered up orders and quarters at the marvelous ice temple on wheels.
dancing in my head
by Lydia Trecroce (1/8/11)
Carlson Patrick received many things in the state penitentiary, and his scarred body testified of this. But the last item he received was different. As he entered the courtyard of the prison, he noticed, for the first time, the gritty dust tamped hard by the heavy tread of the hopeless. That’s us, he thought, was me. But not anymore. Carlson surveyed the unyielding walls surrounding him. His gaze rose above the electrified wire to the bright winter sky. Above his head, white-robed clouds floated pure and free. A multitude of positive emotions coursed through Carlson at once, and he almost short-circuited. The buzz Carlson felt was infinitely greater than anything he’d experienced getting laid or high. A glance at the toughs in the yard checked his impulse to break out in a jig. Carlson spied his pals Rufus, Doc and The Kid crouching in the shadow of the building from where he’d emerged. Cigarette break by cigarette break, they ticked off the days of their life sentences. Carlson used to do this too, until late last night. Kneeling by his bunk in the dark, he’d opened his heart to the Supreme Judge. Today, he would tell his buddies how he’d been pardoned.
by Lydia Trecroce (1/12/11)
Ms. Reynolds pointed to a tan puddle on the floor of the office kitchenette. “Deke, would you get this please? Thanks.” The woman lifted her high-heeled foot and, like a dog with a wet paw, she shook it daintily. Then she stepped over the spilled coffee and shot through the doorway, crumbling the janitor’s reply in her wake.
“No problem, ma’am.” Deke knotted the neck of his trash bag and went for his mop. He was accustomed to people ignoring his words. All his life, he’d been the one to heed the words of others. In his youth, naturally he’d obeyed the commands of his parents and his teachers. After that and up to the present, he served an entire corporation of individuals, most of whom, now, were decades younger than himself.
Empty trashcans, clean toilets, mop and polish floors—Deke labored without a word of complaint. Often, people took advantage of him, diverting him from an assigned chore to cater to their personal needs. Adjust lamps, fetch supplies, procure insect repellent (?)—no one, including the janitor, seemed to know the boundary that separated servitude from slavery. But it didn’t matter anyway, because Deacon Jones knew in his heart he was a king.
As soon as Deke stepped through the doorway of his home, Queen Edna quit chopping vegetables and embraced him. Deke believed no ermine robe could feel finer on his aching body than his wife’s plump arms. “Hi Daddy!” shrieked Princess Lily running to the fridge. After pouring a tall goblet of his favorite lemon ambrosia, the little girl set the drink into the king’s chapped hands, anointing them with many tiny kisses. Prince Deacon Jr. brought the royal slippers. The boy gladdened his father’s heart with reports of his scholarly triumphs. In the sweet half hour before the feast, Deke settled into his La-Z-Boy throne and meditated on the abundance of his riches.