book cover



Posted in Short Fiction on March 26, 2012

This is a short little piece I wrote back in 1995 or so. It’t been on-line at some of my other sites before.


There is a feeling of emptiness about the house. It has all the signs of both occupation and absence. The smell of teak still hung in the air, but not the scent of polish. In the corner, well under the louvered windows, where the sun never shines, a cat naps, where it’s obvious she always sleeps, to avoid the heat of the day. On the wall, underneath the pictures of the King and Queen, there is no food on the spirit shelf. The water is almost dried out and the flowers are dead. No one has bothered to throw them out or replace them. In the kitchen, a pineapple has become golden in its ripeness.

Along-side the house runs a deck, which extends out into the river, becoming a dock. The river flows by slowly, bringing clumps of green water hyacinths, and barges carrying rice and sand to the city. The sun seems to be shining brightly although the clouds are close and heavy. It is the beginning of the rainy season, when the sun does not burn off the clouds that form nightly in the tropics.

A man sits on the dock wearing only a pair of white shorts. He listens to the sound of water under the dock, but doesn’t hear anything. He stares down the river, where the city is hidden in the haze. As the sun lowers into the west, the rain begins. In a short time, it is raining hard. The man still sits on the dock.

There is a feeling of emptiness about the house.