The Incident of the Woman from the House with Two Stone Lions
The old house was saffron and butter colour, and those cicadas singing in the trees pushed us into manic. Mama had swept the cinders from the fire, left them strewn and broadcasted across the kitchen garden – sweeping the old year out the door, she said. And as I recall, the fireworks were confetti sparks, the sky exploding in consumptive coughs, and my sister and I, mere fractions of our whole family, we were gibbering excitement. Happy New Year, Happy New Year, we called out when the pagoda’s bell gonged 12, and the street filled with masks and masquerading. A red dragon danced like a river spirit toward us, men holding its head upright with long poles, running and swaying. Its tail wagging pressed against the crowds. And I remember that the air shook with each explosion of fireworks — and no one heard the gunshot. A small revolver in her hand, trigger pulled as sulphurous colours plumbed the sky, and took our mother away.
To repeat: This is fiction in response to a list of words. Written for Fireblossom’s Word Garden 4 February/23. Words: butter, cicada, cinders, confetti, consumptive, exploded, fractions,
geysers, gibbering, gong, lions, mandolin, mask, masquerading, pagoda, plumed, revolver, scaffold, syllabus wag. AI Digital Art is mine and created using Midjourney’s bot (v4). Image and poem ©Misky 2023 Shared on Twitter #amwriting @midjourney
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