Editor’s note: As part of our Seattle Writes series, we invited local writers who participated in author Ann Teplick’s “Voices Up” workshops to submit short pieces (flash fiction and nonfiction) to Shelf Talk. We’re pleased to share our first selection with you.
by Marcus Green
I remember the first day I heard her voice… it was sweeter than honey laced licorice. I was on the corner of Rainier Avenue and Henderson waiting at the bus stop for the perpetually late number 42 bus. The August sun scorched my charcoal skin, and my eyes seemed so heavy my neck strained to keep my head from tearing away from it. My arms and legs were merely limp appendages under the command of whatever swoop of air the cars that passed by were generous enough to grant us pedestrians dependent on King County’s unwieldy chariots . The bones of my bones roared with pain. To lay down forever on the concrete beneath me littered in fast food wrappers stained with grease, and lacquered with stalled condiments and the urine of drunks seemed a fortunate fate. Such a feeling is the consequence of 15 non stop hours of moving the furniture of the well to do from McMansion to Mega Mansion.
My spirit broken, body bruised, and mind benumbed, I could no longer stand as gravity failed my slumping corpse, but then a voice erupted from a siren made me float… “Please wait!” she crooned to the number 106 as it left her in hot pursuit of its next destination. That voice that sighed with grief at the thought of waiting another 30 minutes to be on her journey home. That voice that spoke to me to ask the time, and then my name, and then where I lived, and… That day it belonged to a stranger, who I still suspect was Zeus’ daughter. That voice… it now belongs to my wife.