Fiction by J.A. Tyler
This Son and That Son remember hearing stories of when Our Father danced with Our Mother: How they tremored beneath beams hung with bulbs, This Son and That Son not alive, and how there was no mummification to be had, and then how sadness draped into them like a fog.
Sadness in this township is as common as the mist that never raises from its slopes. When This Son and That Son ride their bicycles up the streets their tires buzz with wet, the arcade a dim room like dispersed moonlight above them, like nights, when they dream of buccaneering.
This Son thinks of Our Father as a man composed of ship planks, his eyes a saltwater bath. That Son thinks of Our Father as a bursting chest of rubies, buried at sea, where a stand of trees map his heart. Sadness, as a disease, doesn’t allow for such differences.
Between This Son and That Son is a great deal of infected sadness, brought on by Our Mother, whose hands are always sewing dresses for dances that have already passed, and by Our Father, who cannot stand in the house for long before his body wavers, land-sickness quickly coming on.
When This Son and That Son are ready to admit their sadnesses, and their penchant for pirate futures, Our Mother will be ready with her newly acquired abilities to mummify, and the township fog will no longer matter, and Our Father out to sea will be only a treasured memory.