The Raging, Melting Space Between by Christopher Allen

September 26, 2013 Comments Off on The Raging, Melting Space Between by Christopher Allen

Do you remember the expedition? We had this thing between us we found hard to explain. Like a firmament, like some private storm. When you said this to your mother, she stared at you as if you were dressed in cabbage. So you told her we were leaving.

It wouldn’t be the usual sort of expedition. We weren’t going on a search with flags and dogs; we would take the thing as far as we could — and leave it there. We’ll fengshui it, you said. We’ll wrap it in sky-blue paper and a ribbon of ice. But I said no. Remember that? What’s the sense, I said, of a ribbon when the point is to hide it? And you said, I put ribbons on happy things. And so we did.

Though it wasn’t bulky, odd-hued, or loud, the thing attracted attention. We could have sold it a zillion times. Remember the drunken soldiers taking pictures with it so they could tell the folks back home it was their thing? Remember the Danish woman who tried to open it as we slept? Her sun-blistered face? Her ridiculously thin cigarettes? Her twenty questions? Dead child? Artichoke? Boxite? Such a stupid woman. She thought penguins could fly.

We let everyone believe what they wanted. They’d never get us — two men in suits — trying to save the raging, melting space between us. As months flew by, we breathed less, spoke less, afraid we’d use it up before we arrived. Remember how we spoke with our eyes?

After years en route there we stood — ice freezing our feet, wind paralyzing the ice ribbon like a horse’s mane — nudging the thing along to that wheel of tuxedoed men, and hoping they’d know us. Remember? How they parted, shouldered us in — you could see they knew how far we’d come — and closed themselves around us?

© Christopher Allen

Christopher Allen is the author of the absurdist satire Conversations with S. Teri O’Type. Allen’s stories appear or will appear in SmokeLong Quarterly’s Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine and Blue Five Notebook, among many other wonderful places. In 2011 Allen was a finalist at Glimmer Train, and he has also been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice. He blogs at and

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