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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Open & Shut

      photo montage by aleXander hirka - click on image to enlarge
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OPEN AND SHUT
~ by T. Remington

       Sally Ann found her key stuck in the crotch of the cherry tree she climbs after school whenever the weather’s nice. It’s one of those fancy old kind of keys; a skeleton key. She tells Grampy just about everything, but decides not to run to him with this key. She’s not sure why, but it feels like it’s hers and hers alone. She pockets it and all day long she reaches in to play with her secret. It’s her first.
      There are lots of locks to try, but Sally Ann finds out pretty quickly that she has to be careful about it cuz people get funny about her trying her key in their door if they happen to be home. Another thing: an old timey type of key is not going to fit into just any  ordinary modern lock so she has to find old doors. Since she’s already used to being called absent minded and foolish, no one’s gonna notice anything different. Which they don’t.
      Weeks pass and Sally Ann has to go further and further from her usual home to school to library to home route in search of her old door. Sometimes at night she tries to imagine what will be revealed when she finds that special lock, but falls short. Any of the usual stuff that she reads about or sees on television can’t be nearly special enough to be found by this key.
      There’s a day, an oddly windy day with a weird colored sky, when she’s a long ways from home and there’s this great, old door with fancy old columns on each side of it with peeling paint. The key slides right into the lock (that almost never happens, but even when it does, that hasn’t meant anything until maybe now) and then, oh wow, it turns and there’s a click.
      “I’ll give you ten bucks for that key if you don’t open the door.”
      “You don’t have ten bucks.” Sally Ann turns to confront…nothing. There’s wind, dust and some garbage being pushed around, but she’s alone. The voice, though, it sounds so familiar and she knows she didn’t imagine it. Right? It’s kind of nuts, but she thinks it sounded like Daddy and that’s impossible.
      When she turns back to the door, it’s changing into blocks of color that are shifting in and out from each other. Quick, she grabs for the key, but it’s also changing. She yanks at it anyway and the separating blocks of colors are hard against her hand and it’s stuck firmly in what had been the door.
      Sally Ann, see she doesn’t scare easy. She’s the one who kills spiders in the kitchen when her mom is freaking out. Grampy always said she should of been a boy. She thinks that’s stupid, but never tells Grampy that. She knows he means it like a compliment. Now, though, she’s scared but curious, too and curiosity wins out so she twists what isn’t a key anymore hard and pushes against the shifting blocks of color.
      “I told you not to turn that key, didn’t I?” It is Daddy’s voice. Sally Ann can’t see him, but she knows he’s nearby and not in Atlanta like Mommy said.
      “Yeah, well if you wanted me to do what you say I guess you should of stayed here with us, huh?” Sally Ann toughs up and doesn’t show the new panic that’s hit because she can’t get her hand back. It’s stuck to the key and she doesn’t want to see what’s going on now but she can kind of feel it.
      “Ok, smart girl, what are you going to do now?” And then here he is; her Daddy standing here in his dirty gas station pants with his hat pushed back. He holds out a hand.
      A funny thing is going on now, though, Sally Ann can feel bumpy hard stuff going on up her arm and, even as she reaches for her Daddy’s hand, she knows it’s too late. He does, too, but he rushes to grab her hand anyway and then he’s stuck too and the bumpy stuff is running up his arm.
      Sally Ann doesn’t think Mommy is altogether happy about Daddy being back, but she sure is and it’s even better on Saturday afternoons when she and Daddy go back out to their door. For hours after they join hands and go all bumpy, the world turns into a blocky wonderful mass of shifting colors and they walk around, giggling and pointing. One of these days they’ll turn that key and see what happens.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On A Warm Summer Night . . .

On Tuesday 25 June 2913, T. Remington was again a featured reader at Bluestockings Book Store & Cafe.


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photo: aleXander hirka
Tammy Remington read her stories "Giving Ground" and "Not One / Not Two/ Not Not Two", as well as a new story, "A Gullible God", which was written specifically for the Burning Man event in Nevada in August (on the theme of "Cargo Cults"), and is a companion piece for a large graphic photo-montage by AleXander Hirka to be installed there.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A reading at Bluestockings Bookstore

Upcoming . . .
  
• Tuesday 25 June ~ 7pm

Bluestockings Book Store & Cafe
172 Allen Street, New York City
[directions]

 
Tammy Remington, a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee, has been a featured reader at Bluestockings twice before. 

She will be reading her story "Giving Ground" and another story.

Mark your calendars! 
And in the meantime, visit her new page at the Guest Room Literary Review where you can also read her 2010 short story "Garbage".
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photo: aleXander hirka