Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guest Writer: Farida Samekhanova

Three Flash Fictions

Wrong Place Wrong Time

My past has a striped black and white pattern. I am a Zebra. Whites are my youth, my children’s birthdays, career ups and immigration. Blacks stand for my bad luck and definitely for my being here.

My head is a gorgeous tender flower, still up in the air. I would be flawless but black balls of terrible headache spoil the picture. Doctors say it will soon go away, but I don’t believe them.

Two of my Zebra legs have roots. One leg belongs to Canada, where my home is. The other belongs to my native country. It is a beautiful land, lost on the map. By now it has been a Russian territory for almost five hundred years. My front legs have no roots and I can move them. I try to avoid the black balls, but it’s hard: they are everywhere.

Yesterday I came to Moscow after 11 years of not visiting. I have a plane ticket for my home city, but I am not going: three hours ago I got blasted in the subway. I don’t know much, but I overheard that two women did it. They lost their husbands in war. People call them black widows. They were from a small republic, like my own.

I don’t feel my body. My sick brain replays my life. Three patients from my ward have already passed away. I know I am the fourth. Other sixteen patients watch me. They still have a chance to survive.

Like Father Like Son?

My father was a truck driver. He worked hard to support his family. He delivered milk to stores. He usually left home late at night and returned next afternoon. He had lunch, slept a few hours and was back to work.

Boxes full of milk-bags in, empty boxes out. When he finished unloading at one store, he drove to the next one. Boxes in and out. In and out. Night after night. Year after year.

He was persistently moving forward in his effort to create a better life for my mother and me. When I was five my father planted a tree in the backyard. By now it has grown big and strong. I was his only son. He gave me the best education possible. After he passed away I stayed in his house. It was fully paid off.

They say that during his lifetime a man should raise a child, plant a tree and build a house. By my age he had fulfilled everything. I haven’t. I am thirty-five, healthy, well-to-do, good looking, single and useless.

Stupid Money

They replay “The Holiday” on and on. It’s a good movie: beautiful faces, nice homes, pools, restaurants. Kate Winslet cries a lot. Even Jude Law cries. I wish I had their problems. They take days off, buy airline tickets, cancel flights and do other things that involve spending or losing money with easy grace.

A crazy woman in China wants to look like Jessica Alba to attract her boyfriend. She goes for plastic surgery. I wonder how much it costs. I think that could pay my credit card debts. I work long hours, but I cannot make both ends meet. Too many mouths to feed. Too many rip-offs. For the rich money is not an issue. Because they have it. The rich are obsessed with fancy things, like buying velvet coats for their pets.

I go to the washroom. The toothpaste tube is empty. I also need to buy soap and toilet paper. I look in the mirror. My grey hair betrays my age. A hair colour kit is fifteen bucks plus tax. I cannot afford it. I need to buy food and pay bills.

Robin Williams loses a six million dollar lawsuit. Six million! I need six dollars for a hot dog, coffee and my bus ticket. Besides, I would like to donate a couple of bucks for Haiti victims. Is God watching us? I think he does, because yesterday my next door neighbour offered me a ride and I also found a two-dollar coin in the elevator.

© Farida Samekhanova 2011

Farida Samekhanova lives in Canada. She graduated from a University in Russia. English is her third language after Tatarian and Russian. She plays chess, collects coins and skates.
In 2007-2011 her work was published in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada, USA, Russia, United Kingdom and Turkey. She is participating in a documentary film titled “Her Choice – Hijab and Beyond the Dress Code,” which is currently in production.

1 comment:

  1. Glimpses into other cultures, vivid and enticing and 'Stupid money' the perfect riposte to today's materialistic culture. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these.


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