Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Camp Fires

By Judy Cabito

cup of joe

  
She separates me from the tribe with a scorching stare. 

I look away. Try to look absorbed and unavailable, hoping the embers land on someone else, while I look for a line of defense, demarcation. To camouflage, I count the panes of glass, the ceiling tiles, the infinite specks of sparkles in the linoleum floor, then adding worth and value to each, multiplying importance and dividing that among the inert - one times everything else could equal an escape plan. I engineer the mass into a Menger Sponge and at last a host of tortuous origami swans. I make sense of the code of relativity on the blackboard and arrange the pencils by grades of lead from 1 to 10 while reciting Ptolemy’s Almagest and Descarte’s La Geometrie. Thus no time to watch the hands on the clock, multi-tasking agents, plead learned theories against passing time.

Then her voice.

It brings on a commotion and everyone shuffles around me, circling the vulnerable covered wagon. They hold their hands and scalps in prayer amid screams, smoke signals, and whirling tomahawks. Woo, woo, woo…

"Samantha?"

The weaklings look away.

“Samantha.”

“Yes.”

“Are you prepared?”

Why put me through this? What is the point? Is there time to count to a trillion or calculate the path of a snail?

“Samantha!” 

No hiding now. 

"Samantha, will you please spell cat?" 

And so begins, first grade. 

About the author

About the Author: Judy lives in the Lake Tahoe area of Nevada. She’s a student of creative writing and she writes every day, all day, because she’s retired.

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