Fiction: “Outrunning a Crocodile”
May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’m beginning to write for an hour a day. Today was my first try using a writing prompt. I’ve maintained writing prompts are lame to disguise my own fear of unmertited communication. Away, fears! The prompt? “Something happened.” As follows:
Something happened. I don’t have legs anymore.
One day, I was gliding along – when I realized I was gliding.
Floating off the ground, I’d say a leg’s distance from it. But it’s a
hard thing to measure without legs.
I can’t wear heels anymore. My hips don’t sway. Everyone knows that
heels make your butt curve back and forth voraciously, a swaying pile
of sex. When I sway while I glide I look a man on the Discovery
Channel, trying to out zig-zag a crocodile. Precarious. Frightened.
No longer confident in life. Heels are all about confidence.
The doctors say I’m lucky. Something could have gone wrong with my
legs. People come to them, pleading – “Please! Remove these,” and
they can’t give them the gift of gliding. Here I am, gliding along
all week, ungrateful. They want to take samples of my legs, boil them
down, and synthesize them for science. Except they can’t, as I
haven’t got any legs. It’s a disappointment I’m learning to live with
in other people.
For the first few days I wore long, out-dated skirts, relics from the
back of my mother’s closet to cover my sudden dis-apparition. When she
pointed out I was using the past to cover something that wasn’t there,
“Just like I used to do when I was your age,” I switched to mid-length
pleasantries, comfortable things in bright colors. I tell people I
wear tights made from chameleons. They’re very expensive. People
One day, I will get my legs back. I trust we will find each other, like
lost loves. I will discover them in a gutter only I would think to look
in, or the back of a closet, or that I left them in someone else’s car,
“didn’t I tell you?” Then, I will remember what it is like to have legs.
I will drag tall socks above my knees and just jog in place, relishing the
soft scratching as they fall down too far, and bunch up, and look
unfinished. I will refuse to clip my toenails until my lover throws me out
of bed. I will tell my stretch marks that growth is a good thing, and count
my leg hairs out, under the stars. I won’t remember to exercise, but I’ll
enjoy it when it sneaks up on me. Hills are everywhere.
But for now, I am gliding, gliding along. And all I’ve really lost is
my love of escalators, and fear of puddles, and aversion to walking
too close to someone for fear of treading on their feet. My dates
find it romantic. Only our arms are in the way, as we walk pressed up
against each other in the dark.