Red Paint Flaking by Warren R. Smith

September 15, 2014 Comments Off on Red Paint Flaking by Warren R. Smith

In the old barn loft there is something almost remembered. In the faded corn powder and littered straw, the boards creaking underfoot, between the rafters and the soft dirt below – something. Only it has hidden itself in the very frame and shape of the building, red paint flaking outside, rotted tires within, and the mouse nests – lots of mouse nest in the air. On bundled lengths of bailing wire and home-fashioned tools on nails hung, rusted and staining my fingers for looking, I am turned like the light, dully deflected, for all the distance come, by the stubborn silver flaked and corrugated tin above.

Yet, in the narrow pens and wooden ways, burnished smooth by generations of hide and hand, is stabled in silence something – something in that, with a lingering stroke over these coarse and dusty shelves, long untouched, I find myself searching.

© 2014 Warren R. Smith

Warren R. Smith is an audio engineer who enjoys the simple life in the high desert and frequenting a local place called The Short Story. He lives in Sante Fe, NM and blogs at

Escape by Warren Smith

March 4, 2013 Comments Off on Escape by Warren Smith

Cells of memory and corridors of guards . . . I turned over on the cot worrying about my escape. Snores and mumbled dreams, boots on overhead grates . . . I went over the plan again, each step, fixing every tangible detail in mind. I began to sweat when, at last, a warm breath of summer night brushed over my chin and chest . . . and I lay exhausted under Caitlin’s gaze.

She spoke to me, yes, but if I gave reply, it had to be of the most perfunctory, heavily laden with the drift of sleep. Vibrating against my breast, she was telling me something — the sense of her words — but even now I have no true sense of them, the actual words she used. They all elude me, but I have to try. Words, her sounds . . . holding me in sway between two worlds, feeling my heart under her palm, refusing to let me go until she’s satisfied and done. Is it ten years? No, almost twelve. How memories awake!

She was young, a little girl, she told me, sometimes walking alone along the old railroad tracks, where one day between the rails and cross-ties, she found a monkey. It was a baby monkey but flat and dried up like a mummy. Most of the fur was still on it — a row of white teeth sticking up along its jaw.

I bent low to have a closer look. Its skin was dark brown, stretched, and a few tiny ants crawled here and there. He must have fallen off the train I thought. A circus train, passed through in the night when all the town was asleep. The tail seemed to be missing, but,  in lifting up the stiff body, I saw the tail was only tucked underneath. I looked more at the tiny, white, sharp teeth and the curled up fingers on the one hand it held flatly forward as if to show it was holding something. A secret . . .  yes . . . the secret: Escape.

© 2012 Warren Smith, First Appeared at Fictionaut

Warren Smith writes because he needs to,  and he is glad for the opportunity to complete a thought now and then.

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