Archive for February, 2015

The Narrow by Seyward Goodhand

Feb 20 2015 Published by under Stories

To the left of my bicycle wheel, an ocean yaws off a ridge. Looks like the end of the world, gravity wrenched into a concave when the moon fell. Stare into a valley of slip, roil and foam. To the right of my wheel, quicksand ripples away into the rigor mortised heat of an infinite desert. Both deadly but the ocean apocalypse seems worse right now. Probably because of the noise.

“Keep your wheel straight!” screams Celine over my shoulder.

She’s hooked her arms under mine. Her seat is loose and she’s nervous about it. Behind my ankles the rusty spikes where Celine’s pedals used to be spin in the elemental glare.

“Faster!” she screams.

My wheel churns on an edge between two fates. Mesmerizing, a tightrope walk along a jaw. I don’t look into the cosmic ocean bowl or I’d get sucked right in, a trick of perspective, but the siren surf roars so wildly half of me swells with blood that yearns to surge out. There’s nothing so addictive as annihilation, that’s what all the substances try to emulate.

“Straighter!” screams Celine.

She won’t tell me whether or not the forest and beyond that the field where we can build a house is just up ahead or five miles off in case I falter at the moment I feel hope, just like she won’t look into the ocean either, or cry.

Seyward Goodhand’s fiction has appeared in echolocation, PRISM International, Grain, Riddle Fence and Journey Prize Stories 23.

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