Monday, January 6, 2014

flash fiction: Vita Fills the Birdless Air

Vita Fills the Birdless Air

©Mimi Wolske
All Rights Reserved

Vita lives in the house behind mine. I've never seen her. I don't know who she is.

"Vita. Oh, Vita."

I'm assuming she's a person because my neighbor calls out to her. His voice booms behind the barriers of the double brick walls, "Where are you, Vita?"

Between the noon mail and the night-shift workers, Vita fills the birdless air.

I have a notebook and I think I should keep it with me. I'm pretty eager to begin documenting each time the unseen Vita's name is called. But, my memory lacks what my enthusiasm boasts and I forget to keep count as I pick up my mail and read the return addresses.

I live a vicarious life on Wednesdays, at night, through thoughts on the covered patio and post-it notes on the door to the garage.

I write. I edit alone. I talk to Dog and say "hi" to my neighbors during the day. I pass small talk with passersby as I walk patrol around the circumference of my neighborhood at dusk—to keep in shape. Quickly. I eat lunch in a place of few words; it's called the park. I eat quickly. Have to be finished by the time Dog is finished with his business.

I live a vicarious life on Wednesdays, at night.

"Vita?" I hear through my neighbor's window. He seems to have lost what he'd found. He seems agitated, but it's hard to tell.

"Where is my Vita."

The power goes out. It's black. It isn't an earth-shattering problem until I hear a nervousness in my neighbor's voice. Maybe tears are falling. It's hard to tell.

Then, as the minutes turn to hours and the hours to dinner, my room is filled with flashing red. I don't wear a watch or shoes; even in shorts, there are still things to do. Dull things on Wednesdays. Like making jam on biscuits and staring out the window in my neighbor's direction.

I can't see much. It looks like they carry someone on a stretcher to the truck with the flashing red lights. I strain. Look harder. I can't see anything. I can't.

Which means I'll have to wait until I bump into tomorrow. And wait.

Wait for my neighbor to call, "Vita."