Monday, March 19, 2007

Bloor Line, wearing spring clothes on a winter's day

East Indian woman, mid 20s, wearing skinny jeans, a jean jacket with hoodie and a light scarf.

Mean Boy, Lynn Coady (Anchor Canada)

Page 20:

A fat mama squirrel appears at the window and stares at me. I know this squirrel. I used to be quite fond of her, in fact, her and all her brood, but now I think the squirrel can fuck off.


Alice took a once around the cottage, her coat pocket stuffed with seed. She pursed her lips, rolling a place in the back of her throat into a series of cooing noises which never failed to draw the grouse from hiding. She knocked icicles from the eaves trough, wrenching one free as large as a baseball bat. She grabbed a spade from the bunkie and picked at the base of the drainpipe, frozen over by a thaw and sudden cold snap. She kicked at the thickest part, the pipe vibrating, birdseed spilling around her feet. Her mother’s muffled voice called from inside.

“It’s just me!” Alice shouted back.

More muffled voice.

“Unh huh,” Alice answered and continued to dig her heel into the ice, buffing the base into a slick sheet.

The sight of the baby squirrel frozen inches beneath the surface didn’t scare her. The eyes, however, were haunting, half opened, half closed, loose and broken like on a porcelain doll. The thick cold had a way of muting the outside world, enclosing Alice inside a wintery dome where a woodpecker’s tat-tat-tat echoed all about her, a heron’s flight overhead sounded like a jet plane and a fawn leaping across a fallen trunk resonated like a four-car pile up. When the grouse flew up to her pocket Alice instinctively swung, the bird slumping to the base of the nearest birch, stunned. It hissed and spread its wings when Alice tried to touch it, pecking at her wrist when she poured a pile of seed at its feet. Her finger twitched against the handle of the spade. She rested it against the tree and backed toward the house. Sitting on the stoop she gave it five minutes to get out of here. Four minutes and fifty-nine seconds.


Brenda Schmidt said...

Oh my! That's one of your best yet.

Julie Wilson said...

Well, thank you very much!