A blur in the rain

The flame wasn’t much more than a blur in the rain, but it was bright, and the man held it aloft like a carnival prize. It bobbed as he walked… towards, away… but neither his shape nor the shape of the flame seemed to change. I was transfixed by the motion of the opposing shapes – one dark, one bright, that I forgot where I was. I forgot about my grief and anger; there was no future or past, only this moment, staring at a thing (or things) that seemed so extraordinary that I almost dismissed it all as a dream. But I could feel my feet upon the cool linoleum of the kitchen floor, and I could hear my fingers drumming upon the table. I could count my breaths as I inhaled and exhaled, and feel a small cup of wind gather behind my neck. It was no dream, only an extension of my alertness, vivid, vivid.

Excerpt from the forthcoming novel A Very Tall Summer

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