Airplane tracks across the sky decorate Edna’s days. Every morning, as the parents lock themselves
behind their computers and the children plug themselves into various machines, the
silences within the house grow.
She misses noise.
Edna wheels herself out the back door and parks upon a path
in the garden, lovingly tended by nameless strangers speaking words she cannot
They, also, are plugged in.
Are they disconnected, she wonders, or is she?
She stares at the sky.
Thousands of miles above her and a lifetime away, a plane full of
passengers heads east.
Edna’s husband was a pilot.
Every evening she and the children would lie on the grass, staring at
the sky, pointing, wondering if this plane or that might be Daddy’s.
It was a noisy time, their childhood. Full of screen doors slamming, children arguing,
The children grew up and moved away. Her husband died in a plane crash. She was alone.
She took in children like feral cats; feeding them, clothing
them, helping them with their schoolwork before returning them to their parents
at the end of the day.
Her children worried about their inheritance. They sold her home, rotating her between
households once a year like an ill-fitting but necessary piece of furniture;
Phoenix; Columbus; Ann Arbor; Indianapolis; each house the perfect temperature;
perfectly clean; perfectly silent.
Her grandchild comes into the garden. She lingers at a rose, lightly fingering its
Edna smiles and wheels towards her. “Hello, Cassie” she says.
The child smiles.
“Do you like flowers?”
She nods. “Yes.”
“I could teach you,” she says. “I know all their names.” She wheels closer. “Would you like that?”
“Yes, please.” The
child is polite.
The back door opens. “Cassie,
get away from those flowers,” her mother says.
You’ll ruin them.” The child
releases the red blossom. “Come inside,
now, and play your computer game.”
The child turns away.
Tears trail down Edna’s face. “Everything is lost,” she says.
“Hush, old woman,” she chastises herself.
This post was written in response to this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was trail.
Labels: fiction Trifecta Writing Challenge