Bridges by Foster Trecost

May 9, 2013 Comments Off on Bridges by Foster Trecost

I woke in a dark room, not pitch dark, but dark enough. Some light slunk in from under a door, just a sliver. I didn’t know how long I’d been there, felt like a long time, but the truth is, it could’ve been hours and it could’ve been days. There were voices, muffled sounds that swam through water, but nothing made sense. I tried to remember something, anything . . . but couldn’t.

Then my wife was sitting next to me in the front seat of our car, our son in the back. “Enjoy the movie,” I said. “I’ll be back in two hours.” They got out; I drove away. That was something. Not much, but something.

My eyes adjusted and pulled the room from darkness, a room empty except for me. I thought I’d been abducted. When offered nothing, the mind bridges to any possibility. I walked to the door and pounded on it, but no one came.

My sister had wanted to see me. Yes, my sister! I wondered if she could be to blame. From the theatre, I’d driven to her house. She’d given a strange tale of troubles and wanted to talk. Strange, indeed.

I stared at the sliver of light under the door until I remembered more: a winding road, that’s what I remembered. Dark with sharp curves. The light from beneath the door flashed, and I shut my eyes. The lights were even brighter, headlights, right in front of me, coming right at me. And then darkness.

The light from beneath the door brightened again. The underwater voices grew louder, and I understood what was happening. The door opened, so I pressed myself against the wall. The light engulfed me, and I heard these words: “Somebody, come quick!”

 ***

 Jim Thome opened his eyes. He couldn’t remember when he’d closed them. His first words were to his wife: “How was the movie?”

© 2013 Foster Trecost

Foster Trecost is from New Orleans, but he lives in Germany. He loves to cook cajun food for his German friends.

Chairs and Mirrors by Foster Trecost

January 2, 2012 Comments Off on Chairs and Mirrors by Foster Trecost

The first time became clear after the second. I sat in a chair, not the one I would’ve chosen. Mouths moved all around me, but the ringing in my ears was louder than the voices. I couldn’t hear anything except the ringing, but not the one I wanted to hear. A phone sat in the corner.

I used to work in a chair. Not one like this and not one behind a desk either, one behind a wheel. My name was stitched on my shirt. Now a number’s stitched on my shirt. I always wondered why they put the names no one cares to know in plain sight. The people who boarded my bus sure didn’t care. I may as well have been a number back then, too.

There’s a mirror in front of me and I thought it was so I could see myself, but I didn’t want to see me. Then I realized some folk did want to see me, but didn’t want me to see them. It wasn’t even me in the mirror. The reflection was just a body that looked like mine, but it wasn’t me. The people hiding on the other side didn’t see me, they saw a guilty man. I’m not guilty.

Then nothing mattered. The ringing in my ears died down and I could hear voices. They were nice voices and I smiled at the people I couldn’t see and felt sorry for them. I looked above the mirror at a clock, almost midnight. The room became quiet and I surrendered.

Then the phone rang.

That was the first time. The second was much the same, and now it’s the third and I’m sitting in my chair, wishing it was the one behind a wheel, smiling at the people I can’t see. And the phone just ain’t ringing.

© 2011 Foster Trecost, first appeared at Fictionaut.

Foster Trecost started writing in Italy, and he still writes, but now from Philadelphia. Sometimes he works paying jobs that involve corporate taxes. When he’s not doing that, he usually goes back to Europe. His stories have appeared in elimae, decomP, and Dark Sky Magazine, among other places.

Thoughts from a Bus By Foster Trecost

June 9, 2011 Comments Off on Thoughts from a Bus By Foster Trecost

I think they want me to feel important and that’s why they stack my seat so high. But it doesn’t work. I don’t feel even a little bit important.

I like the early morning folks; I call them the Six O’clocker’s. We’re all wearing uniforms with our names stitched on the front pocket. They always put the names nobody cares about on the front pocket. When they get on, they don’t look at me because they don’t want me looking at them; we’re all a little bit embarrassed, but still, I know their names and they know mine.

The Eight O’clocker’s get on my nerves. Neckties and perfect hair, smelling like too much cologne. They don’t care about me, but they look at me anyway. So proud of themselves, just hoping I look back, but I don’t.

My boss thinks he knows how long it takes – who made these schedules? And he’s always hiding some guy on the corner with a stopwatch. I get a report every month, says I’m never on time. Hell, I’m always on time. The Six O’clocker’s don’t say nothing; it’s the Eight O’clocker’s always complaining.

How many times I got to say, Exact fare only? What I want to say is, Buy a pass. If someone takes the bus twice a day, why don’t they just buy a pass? But I say what I’m supposed to say, “Busses don’t give change.” I guess he won’t be buying any fancy coffee today. I guess he’ll just have to drink the regular stuff, like the rest of us.

Now there’s this little girl, staring right at me: “What do you want?”

She looks at her mom: “Why doesn’t he say it?”

Her mom looks at me: “She wants you to say, Move on back.”

You’ve got to be kidding me! What do I look like, a circus?

“Yes,” says the kid. “The driver on the bus says, Move on back, like the song.”

They don’t pay me to be a clown, they couldn’t pay me enough. “Go sit down!” She starts to cry.

“You’re a very mean man,” says the mother.

I don’t say a word, just point to the sign: Do Not Speak To The Driver.

More Eight O’clocker’s, lined up. “Good morning,” I hear, but I don’t look. I never look.

“I said good morning,” he says again.

Man, take your good mornings to your office because there’s nothing good about mine.

“Can you hear? Good morning!”

He don’t need to shout because I can hear just fine and I can see just fine, too. And I don’t like none of it. I don’t even like the smell of it. “Move on back,” I mumble.

“Excuse me?”

Now I’m pissed off. “The driver on the bus says move on back!”

If they stack my seat any higher, my head’ll hit the ceiling. But the truth is, they can’t stack it high enough.

© 2011 Foster Trecost

Foster Trecost started writing in Italy, and he still writes, but now from Philadelphia. Sometimes he works paying jobs that involve corporate taxes. When he’s not doing that, he usually goes back to Europe. His stories have appeared in elimae, decomP, and Dark Sky Magazine, among other places.

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