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Yesterday a half-built mansion. Open to rain, racoons, and a few young, stray vandals. Today a hunter’s shack, cold in the woods, where shadows gather around a ghost fire.
Tomorrow’s foundation rocks scattered across a damp, distant field of knife like weeds, grey blooming flowers.
Cheated on his wife, yawn. Cheated on his boyfriend too. Cheated D.B. Cooper out of his airplane money. Cheated taxi drivers, which is nothing new. Cheated storytelling strangers out of time. Cheated on his driver’s license. Cheated at the ballot, both voting and counting. Cheated his lawyer, who was cheating his ex-wife. Cheated on IQ tests. Cheated at tic-tac-toe, imagine that. Cheated at ventriloquism, I’ve heard. Cheated the collection plate. Cheated siblings out of inheritances…land and rugs and hula skirts. Cheated death, more than once. Cheated at speed reading. Cheated the blind pencil salesman. Cheated Pol Pot, but kept that to himself. Cheated at sincerity and mediocrity, too. Cheated his alarm clock. Cheated at being a mime. Cheated at cards, which is nothing special. Cheated other cheaters, which is. Cheated at drinking contests with lots of water. Cheated on local, state, and federal taxes. Cheated kids out of allowances. Cheated the sky out of a rainbow. Cheated bubbles out of a bath. Cheated the ocean out of the tide. Cheated the hook from the fisherman. Cheated the fish.
Scissors, sick of any line not completely straight, chased Circle out of the house and locked the door. Circle, though, knew how to make friends and quickly did.
All around Circle stones of similar size gathered, a dozen in all, to hear of life inside the house and to hear of the way all shapes came to be. Except on very dark, cloudy days this became the routine.
Copyright 2018 Mike James