1159 words long
Sure. An optical illusion. You just keep telling yourself that--while you can.
Notes from the author:
Instead of getting a writing prompt from the usual sources, I decided this time to address directly something that had become very irritating over the past few weeks: the illusion of motion out the corner of my eye that kept me turning fast to look and see what it was. Thus the first few paragraphs of this fictionette are precisely true to life. So far as I know, though, in reality it really is just an optical illusion.
Also, it's not a goldenrain tree out there. I think it's an American Linden. They're all over the neighborhood. There's one right out front the office and another stands just behind the bedroom. When they're in bloom and we open all our windows, the place smells like heaven. But over the next few weeks everything gets coated in pollen.
…It was like five swallows in a row had swooped past my window, or like someone had putted five golf balls, one after another, from high in the left to low on the right: Zip, zip-zip-zip, zip. I whirled, stood up too fast, knocked my tea off the desk to spill across the floor. The mug bounced harmlessly into a corner—good thing, too; I loved that mug—but the oversteeped darjeeling was going to permanently dye the carpet. I thwacked my left calf sharply against my chair. I knew immediately that it would not only bruise but swell up into a painful lump I’d feel with every step for a week. And still I could see nothing, nothing, nothing out the window!
But I kept looking. I refused to accept that I’d stained the brand new carpet and temporarily hobbled myself for nothing, nothing, nothing. I craned to see as far as I could to the right, but of course there was just the short length of the patio wall’s “L”. I peered over the wall and saw nothing but the goldenrain tree and the sky.
Then I looked down at the windowsill. Not because I wanted to. Because I was compelled. It was as though two barbed hooks had caught just above each cheekbone and yanked my face down. I looked, and I saw the tiny creature on my windowsill.
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for July 17, 2015. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1159 words) from Patreon in PDF or MP3 format depending on their pledge tier.
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Cover art photography by Nicole J. LeBoeuf, who is rather pleased with how the flower boxes turned out.