Skip to main content

Rainbows and Confetti: A Short Story.

Kara was a very sad girl. Whenever she was too happy, she burst into rainbows and confetti.

She ruined weddings.

She ruined birthday parties.

She even ruined quiet moments with books and hot chocolate.

She ruined every and any moment in which happiness could be found.

So she decided, once and for all, always to be sad. She liked to be happy, but she didn’t like to ruin happy moments either.

One day, Kara was sitting in the bushes in the deepest darkest corner of her least favorite park, when an old man sat on a bench near her.

Right away, Kara knew he was a nice old man, by the way he walked, the dishevelment of his cardigan, and the grubbiness of his slippers. He also made an agreeable sound, when he finished his struggle to sit.

He sat for a long while, looking out across the grass, which was a patchwork of sunlight and the shadows of trees.

He resettled himself, took a wrapped candy from his pocket, carefully unwrapped it, and gently placed the candy in his mouth. He then smoothed and folded the wrapper, before placing it in his pocket.

He sat for another long while, looking at his hands, one thumb rubbing tiny circles over the nail of the other.

Finally, the old man took out an old, dog eared photograph and, right away, Kara knew, by the way he held it, that it was a perfect picture of his beautiful and deceased wife.

The old man cradled the old photo in his palms. Love radiated from his eyes. Kara saw a smile turn at the corner of his old tired lips, even as a tear formed in one eye. Despite her best efforts, Kara exploded into rainbows and confetti.

“My goodness, what happened there?” said the old man, startled out of his reminiscences. When he saw the rainbows and confetti fluttering all around him, after a moment, he smiled and said, “Yes, I do have reason to be happy.”

Once Kara had collected herself, she stood sheepishly at the knee of the old man.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized. “It made me so happy to see you remember your wife with such fondness. I know I will be happier than happy, when I can cherish and be cherished like you just cherished.” She pinched herself hard to make sure she didn’t explode again.

“Please don’t apologize, sweet girl,” replied the old man, smiling from within a nest of wrinkles. “I want to thank you. I've been coming here for months and, until this moment, I never saw how much happiness could and should be experienced in my memories of Trish and our life together. Truly, you're a gift, child.”

From that day on, Kara never again forced herself to be sad and, whenever people complained that her happiness was disruptive, she always replied, “You probably didn’t even realize that in this moment you could be happy.”

And you know what? She was always right.

Popular posts from this blog

The Geography of Living

The geography of living is bordered by memory.

Timothy was born in the bedroom, lived in the sitting room, vacationed in the kitchen, and died in the bathroom.

These are his dimensions.

In the bedroom, he was conceived. He was reconceived, when he first loved there and every time thereafter.

The kitchen was his adventure, nourishing possibility with each meal. He foraged and found, cleaned and cut, measured and mixed, cooked and assembled and, at last, ate.

The sitting room was his occupation. He paced. He measured. He counted.

The bathroom was the beginning and the ending of his days. He abluted and expurgated the space between time.

Each dimension of living had its place. Each rhythm jointed smoothy. They cornered into the walls, leaving rooms and the doors between them.

The windows he loved most of all. By the windows, within each room’s unique dimensions and rhythms, he imagined he saw into, through, and past time.

By the living room’s window, he imagined that he lived w…

Lifeboat: a very short story

To starboard, there was only sea: calm and reflective. To port, more of the same.

“How did we get here?” I asked.

“Best not to think about it, mate,” came the cheerful reply.

At the bow of the boat, three men were playing cards, gambling on a game of War. The man who had cheerily replied to my question reached for a mound of poker chips at the center of their makeshift table. Another man collected the cards. Another sipped coffee.

Beyond them, I saw only more sea.

It was hard to think, but my mouth carried on instinctively. “But, wouldn’t it help, help to get us out of here, if we knew how we got here?”

“Don’t worry about it, mate,” replied the cheerful man. He placed a large bet. Each player was dealt a card face down. “Things will take care of themselves. Join the game. There’s a place for you at the table.”

I looked aft instead.

Over the stern of the boat, the sea lay flat, still, and almost endless. At the horizon, directly behind us, dark clouds marked the space between sea a…

Obituary: a very short story

Karen loved the rain.

He saw her smile — felt it, really — somewhere between him and the raindrops that fell into the puddles beyond the protection of his umbrella. The memory of her smile reminded him that he he had lived, had a history, had been.

He saw her smile and remembered how she would turn her pretty beautiful shining face up into the rain. She would smile, shutting her eyes into anime-tight semicircles, her face glowing from the pleasure of the rain falling on it, and she would coo — in that sweet, hyper-girlish, and soft voice that she used only to express happiness and joy and delight, that voice that was wholly out of tune with her deep and passionate interest in economics — “I love the rain.”

It occurred to him that she might have taught herself to love the rain only to go against the grain, to push back against the herd mentality presumption that the rain is always a signifier of sadness. It was the sort of thing she would have done.

The whole thing had been doomed…