Observing the Beginning: Short Story Preview

August 2015 - Fiction

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The following is a preview from my upcoming short story collection. Like everything, this is an experiment.


Years later, when Ulysses would think back on where it started, he saw the face of a Polish girl with upturned eyebrows and deep, beautiful, startled brown eyes. She sat motionless in the great hall amongst her new peers, one face in a crowd of many. Her sad expression did not allude to depression or any generic state of melancholy, but instead to a startled realization. The space under her eyes was light and experienced, the kind seen on someone who sleeps at least eight hours a night but understands what it means to live on just five. She wore a floral dress that revealed a taste for flirting but with which gender and orientation one could not discern. Her hair, short, could have labeled her a lesbian, though it would later be revealed to Ulysses that this stereotype held no water. To a tall, skinny, dark haired Lithuanian girl named Audra sitting next to her, the stereotype would hold extraordinarily true in two months time, but not four months time, when the Polish girl would leave her for a faceless life of celibacy. Yes, within that space under her eyes lay something more; a looming cluster of thunderclouds, as though in the distance she was fixated on an approaching tangle of lightening. Ulysses looked ahead and saw the storm; the light dust, the time, the stampeding of events splattered with bright primary colored paint, eyes of all colors, streets of all seasons with great humid heat and silent muted snow, characters of all walks that cast a thousand unknown experiences against their environment like a great montage of spotlights, kisses, perfumes, textures, howling in a unison tongue dancing in great waves, holding one another so close they became one together. She was nervous and alone, like all of them.


Blake Greene, 2016