A story for Japan


treeparkjapanforsitePublished by record label Essentia Mundi for the tsunami Japan relief effort- 100% of the sales goes to the Red Cross to help the victims of this devastation.

By C. Holliday (Word Boy) &  Keith G. Rose.


Akerin’s mother, a corpulent asthmatic, depressed the sewing machine’s foot control: the needle, exhausted, came to a stop a few centimeters above the hat’s green felt brim. She lifted herself from the iron-backed chair, her breath fighting to escape those fibrous lungs: clogged billows.

Anxiously, Akerin pulled the threaded needle a final time through the hollow bone of the one-eyed peacock feather, then placed the now-finished hat on her mother’s workbench with the others. About four minutes now. She hurriedly stuffed her spools of thread and remaining feathers into their respective drawers in the cherry wood cabinet. Later, while brushing her teeth, the memory of them there, in stasis, would make her beam.

Slivers of thread—infant worms—littered her dress, peach with white lace trim. She brushed them off. Stuffed with hats at various stages of life, shelves and cubby-holes lined the shop’s work-parlor. She rushed to the door. Upstairs, her grandmother—a retired vocal coach, her eyes now fogged over with cataracts—was just about to launch, in her hoary “vox,” into the next phrase of Aoinoue.

Over the black puddle, between three histrionic dogs dancing about a piece of wax paper that had escaped the butcher’s dust pan, then to the corner: some lingering sun-shapes splashed the cobblestones. Short breathed, she reached the half-moon shaped windowsill. A rain-damaged book unexpectedly occupied her place: she moved it aside and lifted herself up into position. She held the book upon her lap: The Hearth Opera.

He hadn’t yet appeared. She occupied the few remaining moments with the scene unfolding next door: a gruff, suspendered man lugged on a squeaking dolly a dozen half- gallon cans (their labels canary yellow, like her parents’ bathroom) of peeled tomatoes through the darkened entrance (its battered door ajar) of Suntour Pub.

A feral cat howled—and she turned. The man had already emerged from the small slatted door to the right of the tower clock, itself framed by a brick tenement house and a decrepit bottle factory; he stood upon a small balcony. Just moments left. Next he’ll scan the village rooftops, then prop himself up with that broom, his chin resting atop its handle, for the few seconds of nothingness before he resuscitated time itself. When he complied, her fingers gently clenched the crumbling book’s spine. The clock’s hands formed a two-headed, vertical arrow. He would need to nudge, with the broom’s wood end, the second hand forward, for it had long since been suffering. And then, he—

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