The Centilogue

Short Fiction by Christopher Peterson

Month: April, 2013

Medusa

The fighting now was ended. She would never come back. Hands stuffed in his jean pockets, the toes of his Chucks tickled by the waxing tide, he watched the pegasi clouds chased towards the dawn by the plough wind furrowing into his jacket collar. The quiet chill hanging on the serpentine reeds besides the shoreline path caught flickers of vermillion from the horizon like the torches of a distant mob storming the corner of his eye. It had been a dreadful night, but he’d persevered. He sighed, turning for the path when his eyes met hers, turning him to stone.

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At Records End

They sat close on the floor by the fireplace beneath their mother’s quilt, sharing a mug of lukewarm tea and listening to Nick Drake while they talked about her death.  Hers was a position of unequivocal resignation to the unknown inevitable. Everyone does it eventually, she said, so why worry? His was a tightening knot of ambiguous foreboding, the heavy, palpable finitude that weighed down his brow as he stared into the cresting flames. He squeezed her hand tightly and looked away from the smoldering fire as the music stopped, leaving only the skipping static hissing from the record player.

The Aquanaut, or A Qua Nought

I am, he thought, as he floated in the dark warmth, vague muffled noises distant beyond the soft edges of the underwater world. He should have felt loneliness, being alone, but something about the fluid emptiness held comfort as it held him, constant presence filling his present. Time didn’t pass as much as he could feel time flow through him, through transformations and definitions bringing him closer to the gentle darkness. In another world, a lonely young woman carrying the world on her shoulders pressed through the loud and angry crowd in the cold rain and opened the clinic door.

Enoch’s Son

Running past the front porch, God picked the boy up midstride and set him on his lap as the sun set slowly over the distant cornfields. He hummed a forgotten melody in robust baritone and pointed to the stars long after dusk settled in and the crickets sang in angelic chorus as he described how far away Heaven was. Past the stars, he said, behind the black sky where no one could every fly. The boy wondered quietly how he could ever get there. As he drifted to sleep, the devil packed his bags and left forever out the backdoor.