“Away”

It’s a warm breezy spring morning and she feels an awakening, a flood of energy, alive, freshened, and decides to clean the house, and so throws open the curtains and begins dusting lamps and bookcases and tabletops, then vacuuming the well-worn rugs—a good spring cleaning after the stagnations of such a long winter!—and she opens a window to let in the breeze, fresh and green, it lifts the curtains and ruffles her skirt, tickling her almost…and she smiles, thinking of spring and its promise of renewal and all the plans she will now make, all the tasks and ideas and projects postponed during the dulling months of winter…and as she thinks this, almost as if it heard her, a gust of breeze lightly caresses her cheek as if to say, Yes! and blows some papers off a credenza, she goes to pick them up, but then a stronger gust blows them again, so that they scatter about the room, and then an even stronger gust makes them fly around the room, like doves, like white moths, and she smiles at the oddity of the thought, her annoyance replaced by a strange excitement…and she opens another window, letting in even more breeze, it is blowing even more strongly, almost a wind now, lifting not just papers but the dining room tablecloth, her skirt, and she laughs and opens another window and twirls like the young girl she once was—whee!—stretching out her arms to the wind as it fills the room, now lifting sofa cushions, books, lamps, My life is blowing around me, she thinks, Away, she thinks, maybe says it aloud— Away!—and hesitates, but only for a moment, then abandons herself to the wind as she too is lifted and carried off and away, gone in an exhiliration of possibility, of abandonment, of vanishing.

***

David Michael Kaplan

About David Michael Kaplan

David Michael Kaplan is the author of a short story collection, Comfort and a novel of linked short stories, Skating in the Dark. His short stories have appeared in Five Points, TriQuarterly, Story, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, and The Ohio Review, among others, and his short shorts have appeared most recently in Quarterly West and Sante Fe Literary Review. He teaches fiction writing at Loyola University Chicago.